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Everyone is looking forward to a change as the Battalion joins 1 Brigade and starts to prepare for deploying on Operations in the near future. Despite the persistently soggy weather (made all the more miserable by the swelteringly hot previous few days) Thursday 4th August was a memorable day for 38 soldiers from X Company for several reasons.

Not only was it Battalion Minden Day, which is always a good day, but more importantly as part of the Minden Day celebrations, the 38 soldiers who served in Afghanistan on Op HERRICK 13 as part of the Battle Casualty Replacement Cohort were awarded their Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan.

As most of you are now aware the Regiment will be replacing the Fusilier Memorial at the National Arboretum in 2013.

As with all projects of this type it is impossible to please all of the people all of the time.

By the end of the 2 years, however, the Fusiliers knew the Plain inside out, and it was always brilliant to see new Company Commanders stressed on their course asking junior Fusiliers how to attack a position.

The handover to 2 Royal Welsh on 29 July marked the end of this time.

An experienced war memorial stonemason has been appointed; he has previously produced work at the National Arboretum and at the Somme and is highly respected for the quality of his work.

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With modern paints all the colours on the monument will last for 25 years and the overall cost will include a lifetime maintenance contract.

It also gave the Fusiliers an opportunity to think and act as an insurgent.

All of these opportunities will be very helpful when the Battalion starts its own Pre-Deployment Training for Afghanistan.

The cost of the Monument is £25k and it is estimated that a further £10k will be needed for the unveiling ceremony in 2013 to which all Fusiliers and the families of our Fusiliers killed in action will be invited.

The Colonel in Chief will be invited to lead the ceremony.

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