Dad fights to get Rainham war hero Dan Read's name on memorial
Bomb disposal hero Captain Dan Read
lost his life trying to protect others.
The former Medway pupil died
fighting for his country as he tried to defuse an explosive device
Hundreds of people lined the
streets for his funeral and he was later awarded the Queen’s
Commendation for Bravery.
More than two years after his
death, Dan’s father is still fighting to get his name on the war
memorial in his home town.
Les Read approached Medway Council
to ask if Dan’s name could be engraved on a stone in front of the
memorial in Rainham High Street but his request was refused.
After being contacted by the Medway
Messenger, the council has revealed there are plans to engrave
Dan’s name on a paving slab at a new memorial to be built in Mill
Road, Gillingham. But Mr Read, of Repton Way, Walderslade, said
this is not good enough.
He said: “It is a nice thing to
offer but I want it in Rainham.
“Dan was hugely popular in Rainham.
Dan’s whole life was in Rainham, he went to school there and he was
known by so many people. Most of his family still live in
“Dan’s name is on war memorials
around the country but that is beside the point. We want something
in his home town.
“It’s what Dan would have wanted
and I think it’s what the people of Rainham would want.”
Capt Read, who went to Rainham Mark
Grammar School, died in Helmand in January 2010.
The 31-year-old, who lived in
Cornwall with his wife Louise, was a member of 11 Explosive
Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, and was working
as part of the Counter IED task force.
At the time of his death,
commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Gareth Bex said Dan
“epitomised the values of selfless commitment, loyalty and courage
and would have done anything for his men”.
Les Read at the war
memorial in Rainham
Soon after Dan died, a framed photo
of him was placed beside the memorial in Rainham and people have
put flowers there and even left drinks for him.
Les said: “That respect people show
gives me a lot of comfort.
“I haven’t asked for the memorial to be touched.
“That memorial is for soldiers and
Dan was a soldier. It is only right that he should be remembered.
He died fighting for his country, he’s got every right to be
A spokesman for Medway Council
said: “We have been in contact with Mr Read to let him know the
council would like to provide a fitting memorial to his son.
“While the memorial in Rainham
commemorates those who gave their lives during the First World War,
we are working to install a new memorial at Medway Park in
Gillingham, where we would like to include a commemoration for Capt
council appreciates this is not what Mr Read originally sought, we
hope he will agree it is an appropriate way to commemorate his
“Medway Council has a very strong
record of supporting our Armed Forces.
“We would again like to express our deepest sympathies to Mr Read
at the sad loss of his son and hope he will accept our proposal as
a fitting tribute to his passing while serving his country.”
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