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Families Of Fallen Cyprus Emergency Soldiers Receive Elizabeth Cross

Both Cpl George Cassells and Flt Sgt Morris Rhodes were killed whilst on active service in Cyprus, during the Cyprus Emergency.

Two fallen British service personnel who fought in the Cyprus emergency have been awarded the Elizabeth Cross.

The conflict started in 1955 when a Greek Cypriot Guerrilla Group promoting union with Greece came up against British troops.

The Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll have been presented to the families of the Late Corporal George Cassells, formerly of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and the Late Flight Sergeant Morris Rhodes formerly of 139 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

Both Cpl Cassells and Flt Sgt Rhodes were killed whilst on active service in Cyprus, during the Cyprus Emergency.

The four-year military action took place in the Crown Colony of Cyprus against the British Empire.

It primarily consisted of an insurgent campaign by the Greek Cypriot group, the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA), to remove the British from Cyprus so it could be unified with Greece.

The awards were presented by Mr Tim Stevenson OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire at a Special ceremony at the Officers’ Mess in Bicester.

Mr George Cassells, the nephew of Cpl Cassells, and Mrs Linda Stallan, the widow of Flt Sgt Rhodes, received the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll on behalf of the families.

It was the first occasion at which 11 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters South East hosted a ceremony for personnel from two different services.

Elizabeth Cross Presentation

The Elizabeth Cross, which was introduced in 2009, is awarded in national recognition of the loss and sacrifice suffered by the families of those Service personnel killed on operations in the line of duty.

The families also received a memorial scroll signed by the Queen.

At the time of its inauguration, Her Majesty stated: “As people, we accord this ultimate sacrifice the highest honour and respect.”

In addition, the recipients were presented with The General Service Medal.

The award was instituted to recognise service in Army and Royal Air Force operations for which no separate medal was intended.