AN Army chaplain will mark his final Remembrance Sunday in the forces by taking part in his hometown service.

Padre Ken Adolphe grew up in Swanage and joined the military as a systems engineering technician with The Royal Signals in 2001.

The 44-year-old is set to take part in the town’s main Remembrance service at St Mary’s Church as he is set to rejoin civilian ministry next year.

Ken said the service would be an emotional one, with his family attending.

“My dad was in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, my uncle and a grandfather in the RAF and my maternal grandmother was in the Women’s Royal Army Corps, the latter two serving in the Second World War. It was pretty much inevitable I’d join the forces,” he said.

Bournemouth Echo: Ken will bid farewell to his military career before starting in his role at Longfleet Baptist

Ken decided to follow his calling in 2007, retraining as a Baptist Minister in Bristol, before joining the Royal Army Chaplains Department in 2015.

His first unit as a padre was with the Queen’s Dragoon Guards.

Among Ken’s many deployments, he served in Sierra Leone twice with the unit, as well as a six-month tour in Cyprus with the Scots Guards.

“I felt very empowered by both commanding officers [in Cyprus] who were very pro-chaplaincy,” he said.

“There, I was heavily involved with the Church of England Cathedral and a student house church.

“It was great to be involved at opposite extremes of the church spectrum – one very formal and the other where we’d sit around with a spaghetti bolognese and get a guitar out.”

Ken returned to Blandford Camp in 2021 as the garrison padre, aligning with the Royal Signals’ training establishment there in 2022, as a ‘poignant homecoming for him.’

He said: “I'd always wanted a Phase 2 training unit as I felt my skills were suited to soldiers, so I could have a real influence, and coming ‘home’ to the Royal Signals was perfect, especially as my mum, brother, and one of my sisters live in Swanage.”

Ken said he had wrestled with a strong sense of call back to civilian church ministry and will start his new role at Longfleet Baptist Church in Poole just before Easter.

The padre said he is grateful for his perfect goodbye to his military career.

He said: “The opportunity to spend my last Remembrance in the Army in my hometown with my original corps is a very special farewell for me.”