The widow of Fylde hero Sgt Nigel Coupe has described how a lasting tribute to him has been unveiled in a “very special place” for their family.
Family and friends of the St Annes father-of-two, who was killed in Afghanistan last year, gathered to see the unveiling of a bench dedicated to his memory.
It is the first memorial of its kind ever to be sited in Lytham’s Witch Wood – a location chosen by Sgt Coupe’s widow, Natalie and young daughters Ella and Jasmine.
Natalie said: “Witch Wood was a very special place for us as a family.
“We used to come here bug-hunting and other fun things and one of the last photos that was taken of Nigel was in this wood.”
A ceremony to officially unveil the bench on Tuesday was also attended by Sgt Coupe’s father Alan, Fylde Mayor Coun Linda Nulty, representatives of the Armed Forces, the Fylde Veterans charity, the Royal British Legion, St Annes Town Council and Lytham St Annes Civic Society, who are responsible for Witch Wood.
Dedicated ‘in memory of our daddy Sgt Nigel Coupe 1978-2012’, the bench, made in Malaysian hardwood by Woody’s of Freckleton, was blessed by Fr David Lyon, vicar of St Annes.
It has been funded by Fylde Veterans and St Annes Town Council after Natalie indicated at a ceremony in Ashton Gardens, to add Sgt Coupe’s name to the war memorial there, that a bench in Witch Wood would be an ideal lasting tribute. Marion Coupe, chairman of the Civic Society, said: “This was a very special request for a very special person and we are delighted to have this bench sited here.”
The Witch Wood bench follows the siting of one in his name at the National Memorial Arboretum in Stafford following a sponsored triathlon by his mother Elaine.
>> An inquest into the death of Sgt Coupe, along with five colleagues, starts in Oxford next week.