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Camilla pays sombre visit to Commonwealth war graves

By Ben Mitchell, PA

The Duchess of Cornwall yesterday met service families taking summer holidays in new poppy camping pods that are aimed at giving respite to the Armed Forces.

Camilla officially opened the new facility at the Tile Barn Outdoor Centre, near Brockenhurst, in the New Forest, Hampshire.

The duchess asked Darren Hatfield (38), a Royal Navy chef if his daughter, Gracie (6), snored, and he replied: "No, but daddy does."

Camilla watched youngsters from Brockenhurst Primary School on outdoor climbing equipment and ducked as eight-year-old Adam Cartwright waved a pole around as he explained the exercise. She also met members of the 1st Brabourne and Smeeth Scout Group from Ashford, Kent, who fired a giant catapult built from branches.

Camilla then attended a reception that included a performance by the Military Wives Choir of Salisbury and Marchwood, with families from The Queen's Own Rifles, of which the duchess is colonel-in-chief.

She also unveiled a poppy-shaped plaque marking the opening of the accommodation.

The 20 wooden solar-powered camping pods were inspired by the BBC programme The Choir, which provided an insight into the isolation of military wives as their partners served in Afghanistan.

Earlier, the duchess visited the nearby St Nicholas' Church and its cemetery of Commonwealth war graves.

Belfast Telegraph


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