Atherton soldier drove Duke’s Land Rover hearse

A SOLDIER from Atherton was one of the two troops who drove the hearse for Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday.

Corporal Louis Murray, 29, drove the hearse, a specially adapted Land Rover Defender, from Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

He worked alongside fellow Corporal, Craig French.

The two soldiers are from The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) – the Corps that provide engineering support and maintain the Army’s vehicles and equipment.

Corporal Murray said: “My Grandad, who passed away, was very, very fond of Prince Philip, he thought he was a great man and there are not many people who can say they drove the vehicle that carried His Royal Highness’s coffin. It is an honour to do so.”

The Bolton News:

(The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with his Personal Standard, is carried on the purpose built Land Rover Defender, followed by the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne, and watched by members of the Royal family from the Galilee Porch of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, during the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh. Picture date: Saturday April 17, 2021)

Vehicle mechanics by trade, both drivers are permanent staff instructors based at The Prince Philip Barracks, Lyneham, Wiltshire, where they are Section Commanders at 8 Trg Bn charged with bringing on the next generation of REME soldiers.

The Land Rover Defender TD5 chassis cab in dark bronze green with an open top rear section to carry the Duke’s coffin, was designed and custom-made to His Royal Highness’s specification.

The Bolton News:

(HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, chats with members of 1 Close Support Battalion, REME following their return from Op Herrick 17 in Afghanistan, at Munster Barracks, Catterick.)

Prince Philips’s affiliation with the REME began in July 1969 when he was made Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps.

Corporal Murray added: “It is a great privilege and a once-in-lifetime thing to do. I’m very proud and I think my family will be very proud too.”

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