Being selected as one of 40 ADF personnel to travel to London to be part of the Commonwealth contingent for the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is an honour for all personnel involved.

None are more aware of the importance of the event than Sapper Alistair Wilson, a Combat Engineer at the School of Military Engineering in Holsworthy Barracks. Born in Denver, Colorado, and raised in Sydney, this is Sapper Wilson’s first time visiting the United Kingdom. 

“Having the opportunity to be a part of the Australian contingent is an absolute honour and a privilege,” Sapper Wilson said.

Joining more than 100 members of a Commonwealth contingent made up of personnel from Australia, Canada and New Zealand, Sapper Wilson is paying respect to the late Sovereign not just as the Head of the Commonwealth but more personally as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Engineers.

Sapper Wilson said the days were filled with parade drill and ceremonial instruction to ensure everything went off without a hitch at the funeral on September 19.

“I am very proud to represent the Royal Australian Engineers and pay my respects at this once in a lifetime event,” Sapper Wilson said.

He was touched that the Prince and Princess of Wales visited the Commonwealth personnel at Pirbright Army Barracks, south west of London, to express gratitude for their part of the funeral ceremony.

“Being here to see the Royals up close and have them thank us personally was very humbling and something I will never forget.”