A HERO soldier killed in action during the Korean War has been honoured by the Queen – 65 years after his death.
Stenhouse-born Trooper Peter McFadyen died during a ferocious tank battle on September 4, 1952, aged 22.
His sister Elizabeth Stark was presented with the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll at the City Chambers yesterday.
“It is an honour to bestow Peter’s sister and extended family with a tangible recognition of his bravery,” said Lord Provost Donald Wilson.
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to those men and women who serve in our armed forces and who have done so in the past.
“That debt extends to the families who support them and who bear the burden whilst loved ones are deployed on operations.”
A grate builder by trade with a keen interest in boxing and cycling, Trooper McFadyen grew up in Stenhouse Place.
He was described as “a loyal and steadfast member of the regiment” and recognised with the Korea Medal and United Nations Service Medal during his National Service.
After training as a tank driver, he was posted to the 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, and was selected as troop sergeant’s driver – a role reserved for the more astute drivers.
He was defending his squadron at Hill 187 on the day he died.
The crew’s Centurion tank was hit by a high explosive round which went through an open hatch on the tank turret, killing all four crew instantly.
He had just ten weeks left to complete his two-year National Service.
“Today is a very poignant moment for Trooper Peter McFadyen’s family,” said Major Lee Shearer, speaking on behalf of the British Army.
“This young man from Edinburgh served his nation and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Our country owes Trooper McFadyen and his family a debt of gratitude.”
In a statement, Trooper McFadyen’s family said: “We would like to thank the Ministry of Defence and Major Shearer for arranging this special day. Peter, who died in Korea aged 22, is, and will always be, missed. This medal and scroll will be passed down through the family, who will always have a reminder of the sacrifice Peter and his fellow comrades made.”
The Elizabeth Cross was created in 2009 to provide national recognition for the families of armed forces personnel killed on operations or by terrorism.
Fallen soldiers are honoured who died in conflicts dating back to 1948, from the Korean War to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In a message to her armed forces, the Queen said: “This seems to me a right and proper way of showing our enduring debt to those who are killed while actively protecting what is most dear to us all.
“The solemn dignity which we attach to the names of those who have fallen is deeply engrained in our national character. As a people, we accord this ultimate sacrifice the highest honour and respect.”