Crawley soldier killed in action has hometown development named in his honour

John Brackpool Court
John Brackpool Court

A Crawley soldier who died serving in Afghanistan in 2009 has been honoured by a new housing development being named in his honour.

Private John Brackpool was born in Crawley in 1981. He joined the Army, serving with The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, before volunteering to serve with 1st Battalion Welsh Guards for a six-month operational tour to Afghanistan.

The family of Private Brackpool

The family of Private Brackpool

He was killed on July 9, 2009, while on operations near Char-e-Anjir, just outside Lashkar Gah, in Helmand province, two days before his 28th birthday.

His funeral was held at St John’s Church later that month: www.crawleyobserver.co.uk/news/funeral-for-crawley-s-hero-john-brackpool-1-979999.

The site of the former Kilnmead Car Park site, a development now home to 32 flats and five houses, has now been named John Brackpool Close in honour of Private Brackpool. The block of flats has been named John Brackpool Court.

The decision to name the close was announced last October, following a Crawley Borough Council meeting.

Read more about the announcement here: www.crawleyobserver.co.uk/news/people/new-development-to-bear-name-of-crawley-soldier-who-died-serving-in-afghanistan-1-8673418.

The soldier’s family met with council officers and members of the 4th Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, as they gathered together for an unveiling ceremony at the housing development.

The ceremony included readings from the regiment’s Padre, poems and prayers, while a commemorative plaque was unveiled by Private Brackpool’s mother, Carol, while young family members laid a remembrance wreath.

Carol said: “I would like to thank the council and 4PWRR for making the day special. It was a sad but also very proud day. It’s lovely that John will be remembered.”

Private Brackpool was a former Ifield Community College pupil, and had completed two tours of duty in Kosovo and one in Iraq. Tributes to him came pouring shortly in after his death, with hundreds joining a tribute page dedicated to the soldier: www.crawleyobserver.co.uk/news/hundreds-of-tributes-to-slain-crawley-soldier-1-979894.

Speaking at the housing development event, borough council cabinet member for housing councillor Ian Irvine, said: “On behalf of the council I am delighted we have been able to honour the memory of Private Blackpool with the naming of this new development.

“This is a fitting tribute recognising his bravery and sacrifice and our thanks go out to his family for working with us, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment for putting together this special event and W. Stirland for providing the plaque.”