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Suffolk soldier who drowned in D-Day commemorations honoured at barracks

PUBLISHED: 16:30 16 December 2019

Lance Corporal Darren Jones of the 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment based in Woodbridge died in the 75th anniversary commemorations in France this year. Picture: ARMY.MOD.UK/PRESSOFFICE AND MEDIA OPERATIONS @ 16 AIR ASSAULT BRIGADE HQ

Lance Corporal Darren Jones of the 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment based in Woodbridge died in the 75th anniversary commemorations in France this year. Picture: ARMY.MOD.UK/PRESSOFFICE AND MEDIA OPERATIONS @ 16 AIR ASSAULT BRIGADE HQ

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A Woodbridge-based soldier who died during the D-Day commemorations in France has been honoured by the barracks where he served.

Members of L/Cpl Jones' family attended the ceremony in honour of the fallen soldier who died in June. Picture: ARMY.MOD.UK/PRESSOFFICE AND MEDIA OPERATIONS @ 16 AIR ASSAULT BRIGADE HQMembers of L/Cpl Jones' family attended the ceremony in honour of the fallen soldier who died in June. Picture: ARMY.MOD.UK/PRESSOFFICE AND MEDIA OPERATIONS @ 16 AIR ASSAULT BRIGADE HQ

Lance Corporal Darren Jones, 30, drowned while taking part in the 75th anniversary D-Day commemorations in June and the Suffolk barracks where he was based have paid tribute to their comrade.

Rock Barracks in Woodbridge unveiled a new community garden on the MOD estate and dedicated a bench to L/Cpl Jones named in memory of the former 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment soldier.

L/Cpl Jones, from Durham in the North East, died tragically after reportedly getting in to difficulty as he tried to swim across the Caen Canal near the famous Second World War landmark Pegasus Bridge in Normandy.

Officially opened by Brigadier John Clark, Commander of 16 Air Assault Bridge, the garden has been created on the former site of the barrack's disused water tank with the assistance of 9 Parachute Squadron as trade training.

A bench was unveiled which has been named after L/Cpl Jones to commemorate the soldier based at Woodbridge. Picture: ARMY.MOD.UK/PRESSOFFICE AND MEDIA OPERATIONS @ 16 AIR ASSAULT BRIGADE HQA bench was unveiled which has been named after L/Cpl Jones to commemorate the soldier based at Woodbridge. Picture: ARMY.MOD.UK/PRESSOFFICE AND MEDIA OPERATIONS @ 16 AIR ASSAULT BRIGADE HQ

Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Robinson, Commanding Officer of 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment, said: "Our location at Sutton Heath is quite isolated, and the community garden gives our families a space to come together and relax in.

"I would like to thank all who have contributed to the project, either through funding or their own efforts.

"L/Cpl Darren Jones was an extremely determined and totally professional soldier whose life was tragically cut short.

"It is only right that we honour his memory."

Comrades of L/Cpl Jones paid homage to their colleague at the opening ceremony of Rock Barracks new community garden. Picture: ARMY.MOD.UK/PRESSOFFICE AND MEDIA OPERATIONS @ 16 AIR ASSAULT BRIGADE HQComrades of L/Cpl Jones paid homage to their colleague at the opening ceremony of Rock Barracks new community garden. Picture: ARMY.MOD.UK/PRESSOFFICE AND MEDIA OPERATIONS @ 16 AIR ASSAULT BRIGADE HQ

Rock Barracks was established in 2006 on the former site of the USAF Woodbridge air base and is home to 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment who provide engineer support to 16 Air Assault Brigade based in Colchester.

They also have a reserve parachute squadron, all of which are trained in air operations.

With labour and materials supplied by Seven Trent Water Services, Bentwaters Cold War Museum and Norse Waste Management the garden was constructed by Swann's Nursery and funded by grants from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust, Suffolk County Council, East Suffolk Council, Sutton Heath Parish Council and Colchester Garrison's Welfare Fund.

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