On Thursday 7 November 2019, Bill Veazey once again looked after the corner of the Garden of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, dedicated to the RAF Police and the RAF Police Association.

On Saturday 9 November 2019, Nigel Lacey paraded the Association National Standard at both performances of the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance, in the Royal Albert Hall.

On Remembrance Sunday 10 November 2019, and for the 17th time, the Association contingent took part in the annual parade at the Cenotaph.   This year we were only 30 actually marching, so obviously age and ill health is taking its toll.  As usual the meeter, greeter and caller of the roll, was Mick Griffin.

Our joint leaders were former Provost Marshal and Association Vice President, retired Group Captain Ted Scaplehorn OBE, and Association Chairman, Alan Mitchell.  They were “escorted” this year, by only retired Group Captain David Stanley.

As usual our Right Marker was Big Brian Burgess.  Our Left Marker and TV target was as ever, George “Badger” Brookes.  George was wearing our contingent identifying badge of C17 (ie Column C, contingent number 17).  We know it works because David Dimbleby immediately picked us out (however briefly)!!  The rear Right Marker was Alan Cook and the rear Left Marker was (as usual) Brian Flinn.

The RAF Police Contingent was (as usual) under the command and control of Bill Veazey MBE.

The two traditional wreaths were carried by Ian McIntosh (PM and RAF Police) and Keith Davies (Association members).

Instead of the traditional 6 columns of ex-service personnel, there were this year, only 5.  Column C was the last to leave Horse Guards Parade and last onto Whitehall.  We were positioned on the MOD side of Whitehall opposite side to Downing Street and the Foreign Office.  As ever, eventually we gave a smart “eyes left” to the Cenotaph and later on, equally smart “eyes right” to HRH Prince Andrew, accompanied by the Royal British Legion National President, Lieutenant General James Bashall.

Back again on Horse Guards Parade and after the  National Anthem, Bill Veazey ordered “dismiss”.  Then it was into the cellar bar in the Silver Cross pub on Whitehall to join our friends and families for a finger buffet and drink.  Bill Veazey made a short speech remembering Jeremy Fenton, the Association Secretary and Treasurer who very sadly died a few weeks  ago.  Jeremy had been on every parade since 2003.

Bill also thanked John and Clare  Walton for their 17 years of organising the  Association contingent on the parade. John in turn thanked everyone who has marched over the years for contributing to the success of our contingent, in particular to Bill and Clare.  John also appealed to all members to keep supporting our contingent and the new organisers Ian McIntosh (ianmcintosh265@btinternet.com and Keith Davies (keithdavies150@btinternet.com).

Also on parade were several members who are patients and carers from Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstans). 

Once again with the Garden of Remembrance the Festival of Remembrance and the Cenotaph Parade, it was a great weekend for the RAF Police Association.

John Walton

1. Brendan O'Neill fixes Brian Flinn's armband with Alan Cook observing

2. I've got more medals than you Mr Chairman

3. Ted Scaplehorn with escorts

4. Attendees at all 17 parades - Marty Uden, John Walton, George Brookes

5. The two extras attended all but one - Alan Cook, Brian Burgess

6. John Walton with nursing escorts

7. If the devil cast his net

8. Larger net required

9. David Stanley, Ted Scaplehorn, John Walton

10. Getting ready

11. New organisers - Ian McIntosh, Keith Davies

12. Ian McIntosh, Alan Mitchell, Bill Veazey, Keith Davies

13. Mike Neville with Bill Thompson ready to push

14. Big Brian Burgess

15. Eddie McBride holding court

16. Mick Larkman, C Column commander with our contingent ready to march

17. Association members in Blind Veterans UK contingent

18. Waiting to enter Whitehall

19. Alan Cook rear right marker