Rasen reservist in world spotlight at royal ceremony

Lcpl William Heneage, Pte Jordan Merrett, Pte Ben Seckree and Pte Mark Atkinson from Lincolnshire  all Members from 3rd Battlion The Royal Anglian Regiment who acted as step-liners during the service. EMN-150330-171346001

Lcpl William Heneage, Pte Jordan Merrett, Pte Ben Seckree and Pte Mark Atkinson from Lincolnshire all Members from 3rd Battlion The Royal Anglian Regiment who acted as step-liners during the service. EMN-150330-171346001

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The eyes of the world were on Market Rasen soldier Jordan Merrett when he took part in the reinterment of His Late Majesty King Richard III.

Private Merrett (21) was part of a team of 12 Army Reserves from the 3rd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment who acted as step-liners at the service that took place at Leicester Cathedral and was broadcast around the world.

“It was a good, proud moment to be in full dress uniform and take part in something that has not happened before - it is part of history,” said Jordan, who works on a Legsby farm and has been in the Army Reserves for four years.

“They asked for volunteers to take part (in the ceremony) so I put my name forward and I found out before Christmas that I had been selected.”

Since then, there have been uniform fittings, meetings on procedure and time preparing themselves for the unique event which would have the eyes of the world upon it.

“We had a full walk through last Wednesday to prepare us,” added Jordan.

“On the day, we paraded through the city and then acted as a guard party at the entrance to the Cathedral.

“It was a real honour to take part in the occasion.

“It was a fitting service carried out with honour and dignity and I was very proud to play a part.

“I felt nervous beforehand but as soon as we stepped off I knew everything was going to be alright.”

The King of England died aged 32 in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth - the last battle of the War of the Roses.

His remains were unearthed in 2012 in the ruins of an old Friary beneath a car park in Leicester

Six other Army Reserves based at Lincoln’s Sobraon Barracks also helped the Bearer Party lower the coffin into a specially designed tomb in front of the Cathedral altar, bringing to an end the remarkable journey of the last Plantagenet King.

The service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was attended by the Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

Senior clergy, civic leaders and descendants of Richard III also attended.

This is the first time Jordan has taken part in such a high-profile ceremony, but not the first time he has been called to assist at an international event.

He was one of more than 3,000 troops drafted in to help at the London 2012 Olympics.

“That was an amazing experience,” said Jordan.

“It’s another once in a lifetime event and one I wouldn’t have got without being in the Reserves.”

Jordan went to school at Cherry Willingham and spent five years in the army cadets there before signing up with the Reserves.

“I would definitely recommend joining the Army Reserves to anyone,” he added.

“You are committed to 27 days a year - weekends and Wednesday nights - and there is so much to do.

“It is not just about army training, there is adventure training too - there’s recently been a week-long skiing trip.

“And you learn lots of things that can be used in every day life.”