Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Elizabeth Cross presented to Warrant Officer's widow

The first Elizabeth Cross, awarded to families of Service personnel killed on operations in recognition of their loss, has been presented to the family of Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Sean Upton today.

WO2 Sean Upton, from 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, was killed in an explosion while on a foot patrol in Sangin district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on 27 July 2009.

His family were presented with the Elizabeth Cross at his funeral in Catterick today, Tuesday 18 August 2009.

WO2 Sean Upton's widow, Karen Upton, 32, said:

"It is an absolute honour to receive the very first Elizabeth Cross in Her Majesty's name and comforting to feel the support of Queen and Country. Sean and I grew up together, were childhood sweethearts and soul mates. He was a loving husband and devoted father.

"Wherever our children, Ewan and Hollie, and I go, my husband will always be with us. Sean was an outstanding soldier, loved his job and was part of the Army 'family'. I will wear this Elizabeth Cross in his honour with pride and treasure it always."

The institution of the award of the Elizabeth Cross, to which Her Majesty The Queen has given her name, was announced in Parliament on 1 July 2009. It is a new national recognition of the loss and sacrifice suffered by the families of those who are killed on operations or as a result of an act of terrorism.

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