Plaque for Local Hero Sam to be Unveiled by Mayor

Bridge will display memorial to fallen Royal Marine

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A memorial plaque on Hammersmith Bridge honouring local hero Sam Alexander is is to be unveiled by the Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham.

At 11am on Tuesday, March 27, Hammersmith will pay its respects to fallen soldier and local hero Royal Marine Sam Alexander.

Born and bred in Hammersmith, Sam was killed by a roadside bomb in May 2011, during his second tour of Afghanistan.

To commemorate his life and to mark his dedication and bravery, the mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council, Cllr Frances Stainton, will unveil a memorial plaque on Sam’s beloved Hammersmith Bridge.

Sam was particularly fond of the river and Hammersmith Bridge. He spent his early years cycling to school along the tow path and enjoyed spending time in Furnival Gardens.

The mayor will be joined by Sam’s mother Serena and family members, together with local dignitaries, friends and army colleagues.

Sam, from Skelwith Road, Hammersmith, was killed aged 28 after he was caught by an improvised explosive devise in Helmand Province while serving in 42 Commando Royal Marines.

Serena Alexander says: " Sam was always a 'water baby' and loved the river. I am so grateful to the Mayor for her assistance in the laying of this plaque. It is a tremendous solace to Sam’s family and friends to have this memorial to him in so fitting a place.

" His indomitable spirit, love of adventure and courage were evident at a very young age; as was his loving nature. It is the wanting to make a better life for others that took him to Afghanistan, where he sincerely believed in the job that he was doing.

" I am incredibly proud of him, but still miss him terribly."

Sam was awarded the Military Cross by the Queen in 2009 for saving the life of a wounded colleague by charging at the Taliban with his pistol to provide cover - forcing the enemy to retreat.

Sam worked for some time in White City, teaching karate to children and joined the Royal Marines in 2006, training as a heavy weapons specialist.

This is only the second plaque on Hammersmith Bridge. The last was laid almost 100 years ago in 1919, to commemorate Lieutenant Charles Campbell Wood, a South African serving as an airman in the Royal Air Force, who dived from the upstream footway of the bridge into the Thames to rescue a drowning woman. While rescuing the woman, he severely injured his head and this eventually brought about his death in hospital from tetanus.

H & F Mayor, Cllr Stainton says: " Sam Alexander stands for all that is best in our young men. He stands for the courage that goes way beyond what is asked for and for that unique love and loyalty soldiers in combat under fire discover.

"We stand here today to honour him where he grew up, on the bridge that was special for him and which will now carry his name for ever. He shares this honour with another man who died to save a life a century ago.

" God Speed Sam Alexander and God bless your loving proud family. As Mayor of our borough I am delighted to have taken part in this gesture of recognition and remembrance."

 

March 21, 2012