Opening of Rae Crescent

Stuart Rae on the Cioch, Isle of Skye 1966 (pic by Colin Beechey)

On Friday 28 April, on a beautiful spring evening, residents were joined by local civic dignitaries, naval personnel and district scout leaders to mark the official opening of Rae Crescent. The road, on Phase 1b of Kingsgrove, is named after Captain Stuart Rae of the Royal Marines. Captain Rae, from Wantage, was an avid mountaineer and a member of the King Alfred District Scouts. He was killed on active duty in Oman in 1971. The Stuart Rae Challenge, which is organised by the King Alfred District Scouts, is also named in his honour.

Liz Keevill, Stuart Rae's sister

Liz Keevill, Stuart Rae’s sister, was the guest of honour for the occasion, which took place underneath a white ensign, marking Captain Rae’s time in the Royal Marines. Councillor Major Jim Sibbald, in one of his final duties as Mayor of Wantage, had brought together an impressive group of dignitaries to reflect on Captain Rae’s career.

The Deputy Lieutenant for Wantage, Brigadier Dennis Blease, opened the formal proceedings and was followed by the Mayor himself. Acknowledging Stuart Rae’s time in the Scouts, a letter from the Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, was read out by the President of King Alfred District Scouts, Steve Trinder. There were also remarks from representatives from the Royal Navy, Commodore Rob Bellfield and the Royal Marines, Colonel Reggie Turner.

Liz Keevill added her own thanks to those present before Reverend Katherine Price, Vicar of Wantage, read both the Naval Prayer and the Prayer of the Royal Marines.

The road sign was then officially unveiled by Liz and the Mayor whilst the Wantage Silver Band played a selection of music, finishing with “Sunset and Last Post”. During this poignant piece, the white ensign was lowered by cadets of the Mayor of Wantage and the Mayor of Abingdon.

Over refreshments kindly provided by St. Modwen, those present were able to meet other residents, catch up with old friends and swap stories about the remarkable man that was Stuart Rae and his legacy.

Further photos

This article contains only a few photos. You can enjoy more photos taken on the day by Ben Chan and James Hodgson

More information

Did you know?

You can join the Royal Naval Association, the Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Force Association even if you haven’t served in the military.