The small Wiltshire town of Wooton Basset will soon be known as Royal Wooton Basset. No town has been so honored for over 100 years. It is in recognition of the respect it has paid to every soldier, sailor, airman or woman returned home dead from active service in recent times.

Many a time as a duty senior chaplain I have stood on the runway at RAF Lyneham as a coffin or up to four have been returned from operations abroad. Families would attend to witness the return of their loved ones. The coffin(s) would then be moved by pall bearers to hearses where they would go into the custody of the coroner before being released for family funerals anywhere in the United Kingdom.

In the UK you will find a full range of political views about these foreign operations, but the whole nation honours the Servicemen and Women on these operations, and those who don't return alive.

(Royal) Wooton Basset deserves this award for the way the High Street has stopped business and stood in silence as the procession of hearses made their way through the town.