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How Malvern is linked to remote Ascension Island
SOME of the Queen’s more remote subjects are hoping to strengthen links with Malvern in the run-up to the Diamond Jubilee.
Ascension Island, which was first garrisoned by British forces in 1815, is a volcanic island south of the equator with a population of fewer than 900.
At first glance, the links with Malvern may not be obvious but are both current and historic.
The island’s Anglican church St Mary’s, is run by the Reverend Christopher Brown, of Malvern, and he wants to hear from staff of the former RSRE/DERA defence technology organisations – also from the town – who spent time on the island in the 1980s.
Colin Clutterbuck, of Leigh Sinton, who visited Mr Brown on the island in February with his wife Yvonne, said: “Ascension was important in the Falklands war, because it’s about halfway between here and there.
“Quite a few scientists and technicians went there during the war and afterwards, supporting radar and weapons systems.”
Mr Brown said: “Ascension Island, eight hours’ flying time due south of London, basks in tropical sunshine.
“Its turquoise seas and golden beaches are home to hundreds of giant green-backed turtles which, at this time of the year, come up at night to lay their eggs in the warm sand.
“On June 2, Ascension Island will celebrate the jubilee in style.
We want to strengthen our historical links with Malvern.
“The island’s heritage centre wants to make contact with old RSRE and MOD personnel who may still have photographs and memorabilia associated with their time spent on Ascension Island.”
He said that the island’s jubilee celebrations will raise funds for St Mary’s Church, which needs significant repairs, and donations will also be welcome.
Donations should be made payable to St Mary’s Church (ADF Fund) and sent to Father Chris Brown, Ascension Island, BFPO 677, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6DQ. Items for the heritage centre should be clearly marked and sent to the same address.