Press release

Essex Fire Service supporting employees and setting up Armed Forces Network

Portrait of Scott Hardy

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is setting up an Armed Forces Network to support employees with any links to the Armed Forces, as part of its ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.

Angela Hardy, a Payroll Supervisor from the Service recently featured on ITV's This Morning to receive a portrait of her brother, Lance Corporal Scott Hardy, who lost his life serving in Afghanistan 13 years ago.

The heartfelt portrait, painted by veteran and artist Kev Willis, is part of Willis' project to remember the 457 soldiers who sacrificed their lives in Afghanistan.

Angela’s brother, Scott Hardy was a member of the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, and tragically killed at the age of 26. Alongside his comrade Private James Griggs, by an improvised explosive device on 16 March 2010.

Angela shared the emotional story of receiving the devastating news, recalling the heart-wrenching moment when her brother Antony arrived at her doorstep.

Angela said: "I remember getting a call from my brother-in-law, asking if I'd heard from my brother Antony and that everyone was meeting at my house.

“An hour later, everyone arrived. Antony came to the door and I said: ‘It’s Scott isn't?' He didn't have to say anything, I just ran back into the house screaming.”

In a moving ceremony at RAF Brise Norton in Oxfordshire, Scott was repatriated, and the family received the Elizabeth Cross. His funeral took place at Chelmsford Cathedral, marking a farewell to a dedicated soldier.

Kev’s Portraits

ITV’s This Morning invited Kev on its show last week (Monday 27 November) along with Angela, where she unveiled the portrait of her brother for the first time at ITV's London studios. It was an emotional moment that allowed her to reflect on his larger-than-life personality.

"I felt I needed to go on the show to prove that I could do it, because I am always the one to cry at events," Angela said. "It made me re-live the experience, but it's a beautiful portrait and an amazing way of keeping Scott's memory alive."

The touching portrait now occupies a place of honour in Angela's hallway, serving as a daily reminder of her brother's sacrifice.

Armed Forces Network

As the family commemorates the anniversary of Scott's death, his birthday in June, and Remembrance Day, ECFRS is establishing an Armed Forces Network to provide support to anyone with connections to the Armed Forces.

To watch This Morning's segment featuring Scott, Angela, and Kev, click on the following link:

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