|Ceremony to mark naming of new road in honour of fallen soldier Jamie Hancock
The family of a Wigan soldier killed while serving in Iraq will attend a special ceremony to name a new road in his honour.
Kingsman Jamie Hancock was only 19 when he died in 2006 - just weeks after arriving in Basra with the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
Wigan Council has named a road on a new housing estate “Hancock Close” in his honour. A memorial stone will be unveiled during a ceremony on Tuesday March 18.
The road is in Hindley Green – close to where Kingsman Hancock lived. His family, friends, former teachers and representatives from his regiment will be present for the ceremony, which will also be attended by the Mayor of Wigan Borough. A bugler will play the last post.
The inscription on the memorial stone describes Kingsman Hancock as “a local lad” and “a lion of England”.
Jamie’s brother Sergeant Joe Hancock said: “I would like to thank Wigan Council and all those involved for their unique contribution in memory of Kingsman Jamie Hancock.
“Jamie was well known by his friends and fellow soldiers for being professional, intelligent, vibrant and loyal. As a soldier, he was an outstanding Infanteer with a bright future. He was a true team player, committed to his Regiment, and to his brother a best friend, team mate and biggest fan.
"The opening of Hancock Close symbolises support and recognition to our brave service men and women, who dedicate their lives in support of our great nation and way of life. I hope this is the first of many tributes from communities and councils to immortalise the unique sacrifices and selfless commitment of our Armed Forces.
“I hope Hancock Close will serve as a reminder to future generations of the professionalism and dedication of local men and women from our communities.”
Jamie was a former pupil at Hesketh Fletcher High School in Atherton. He died while on sentry duty at a base in central Basra. For most of his life he lived in Hindley Green. He joined the army at 18. At the time of his death, his Company Commander described Jamie as “an energetic and enthusiastic individual who lived for the army and had a very promising career ahead of him.”
Colonel (Retired) Chris Owen, Regimental Secretary for The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said: “As a Regiment, our fallen are always in our thoughts, and it is of great comfort to us that their sacrifice is also remembered by others. We are proud to commemorate Kingsman Jamie Hancock’s memory, and proud too to stand beside his loved ones on what will be an extremely moving occasion. The Regiment would like to offer its sincere thanks to the people of Wigan for their continued support.”
It’s rare for a new road to be named after an individual. Hancock Close is being built off Thomas Street in Hindley Green. There will be 34 homes on the road – a mix of three bed houses, two bed houses and two bed flats. They will be let to people on the council's housing register. Wigan Council plans to build 250 homes across the borough over the next five years.
The Mayor of Wigan, Councillor Billy Rotherham said: “It will be an honour to meet Jamie's family. Kingsman Hancock gave his life in the service of his country and it is right we honour his sacrifice with this fitting tribute. It is wonderful that Jamie's name will live on for years to come. The ceremony will be a very moving occasion and one I will be proud to be involved with.”