Rae Crescent on St. Modwen’s growing Kingsgrove development was officially opened by the Mayor of Wantage on 28th April, when Kingsgrove’s residents and the local community gathered with Royal Marine dignitaries to commemorate the poignant occasion. Rae Crescent was named in honour of the late Captain Stuart Rae, a local Royal Marine who posthumously received the Elizabeth Cross for valiantly losing his life while serving in the Sultan’s Armed Forces in Oman in 1971.
The Mayor of Wantage, Councillor Major Jim Sibbald, worked with St. Modwen to ensure the occasion served as a fitting tribute to honour Captain Rae’s memory, which holds special significance to not only the Rae family but also the local community. In his younger days, Captain Rae was a Scout in the 3rd King Alfred Scouts (Wantage) who now have a ‘Stuart Rae Challenge’ in his honour. His legacy is known further afield from Wantage too; with Bear Grylls (Chief Scout and Honorary Colonel of the Royal Marines) writing a letter read out at the event to acknowledge the positive impact that Rae’s life had on the Scouting community.
The evening event was a great opportunity for the community to get together, with thought provoking speeches and a fitting sunset ceremony played by the Wantage Silver Band, before the lowering of the White Ensign in line with traditional Marine custom. The guest of honour was Liz Keevill, sister of Captain Rae, with Deputy Lieutenant for Wantage, Brigadier Blease; Naval Regional Commander Eastern England, Commodore Bellfield; Representative of Commandant-General Royal Marines, Colonel Turner; and former Wantage Mayor Steve Trinder also attending.
This event highlighted the strength of the existing community, with many local residents lending a hand on the evening to ensure everything ran smoothly.
A spokesperson for St. Modwen, Dinny Shaw, Strategic Land Head of Planning at St. Modwen, said:
“St. Modwen is dedicated to bringing communities together and I am pleased that we were able commemorate the life of a hero of significant local importance through our work at Kingsgrove. Thank you to our partners Wantage Town Council and the Royal Marines, and of course everyone else who helped to make the event a great success.”
Councillor Major Jim Sibbald, Mayor of Wantage Town Council said:
“On a fine Friday evening, it was appropriate to honour the memory of Captain Stuart Rae Royal Marines and to highlight the legacy that he has left to Wantage and the King Alfred District Scouts in particular. In addition to all the dignitaries who attended, I would like to thank the Mayors’ (Abingdon and Wantage) Cadets for their turnout and participation, Concert Brass of Wantage Silver Band for their excellent performance, St. Modwen for hosting and providing the refreshments and, of course, the residents of Rae Crescent for joining us and learning about the history and importance behind their street.”