A SPECIAL memorial service is being held for a Romsey icon marking the 40th anniversary of his assassination.

On August 27, 1979, an IRA bomb detonated on board a small fishing boat off the northwest coast of Ireland, killing Lord Louis Mountbatten, who lived at the Broadlands estate in Romsey.

Now, Romsey Abbey will be holding a memorial service ahead of the 40th anniversary of his death.

The memorial service will take place on Sunday, September 8 and will be attended by Countess Mountbatten and Caroline Nokes MP.

The Royal British Legion Hampshire County patron will also be attending, Lt Gen Sir Mark Mans, joined with Lady Mans.

The service is run by The Royal British Legion's The Earl Mountbatten Memorial Branch.

Branch chairman, Roy Farmers, said: "We are marking the sad death of Lord Mountbatten as we have done for the last 39 years.

"We lay a wreath at Romsey Abbey every year, it is a traditional service and we look forward to meeting everybody who comes afterwards.

"It is a traditional part of the Romsey year and we hope a lot of the community are able to come."

Former Mayor, Councillor Dorothy Baverstock will be attending the event and will be representing the Romsey Town Mayor.

She said: "I think this year's event will be very moving because it is the 40th anniversary.

"I think it will be emotional for quite a lot of people and especially residents who were around when he was around.

"Not only are you there for his memory, you are also there to remember his life which I think is very important."

Romsey Town Centre Manager, Mark Edgerley said: "The First Earl Mountbatten as well as being a famous national figure was a great friend to Romsey, supporting many community groups even giving the land for Mountbatten School, so it is appropriate that we remember him on the 40th anniversary of his tragic death."

Ahead of the anniversary, BBC released a documentary called The Day Mountbatten Died, which retold the events of the day is still available on www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer.

The service will be conducted by Vicar of Romsey Abbey, Thomas Wharton and Reverend Mark Christian.

It will begin at 3pm - refreshments will be available in the Church Hall after the service.