A Steam Packet Company-supported charity project paying tribute to a soldier from the Isle of Man has been completed.
Forces Support travelled to the Island to create a garden in memory of Corporal Mike Gilyeat, known as Gilly, at the Bride home of his mum, Margaret.
Gilly was a member of the Royal Military Police and a photographer attached to the media operations team based at Regional Command (South) in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The 28-year-old died when the Chinook helicopter he was travelling in crashed in 2007. Six others were killed in the incident.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company supported the project by providing free ferry crossings for Forces Support. The UK charity, established to honour service personnel killed in recent conflicts, has completed more than 120 projects in the last two years, including a garden makeover for the parents of Drummer Lee Rigby.
Andy Morton, who led the Island project, said: ‘It all went really well, and the really important thing is that Margaret was really chuffed. I think it was truly appreciated, giving her somewhere nice to sit and reflect.
‘The work involved stripping out what was there, the turf and an old coal bunker, then placing new paving, planters, some plants and some new garden furniture. It is a nice area of peace and calm for Margaret.’
He added: ‘The support we received from the Isle of Man was tremendous. We had four companies helping us out, including the Steam Packet Company, which is more than we would normally have on a project. Everyone came together to make sure Gilly’s memorial was built, and I’d like to thank them all for their help.’
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘Forces Support has done a great job creating this new garden in memory of Corporal Gilyeat. Seeing the before and after photos shows how the charity has transformed the area into somewhere Margaret can remember her son and reflect.
‘We are proud to have played our part in supporting this project, and pleased to see the results.’
Margaret enjoys her new garden.
The finished garden.
Forces Support at work.
The garden before work began.