The third Anniversary RAFP/RAFPA Memorial Parade at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA), Alrewas took place on a gorgeous (24c) Tuesday morning, 23 June 2010. The NMA were celebrating the Armed Forces Week-21-27 June 2010- and our day was designated RAF DAY. Bunting in patriotic colours and national flags flapped and clapped in the morning breeze post the longest day of the year. Many NMA staff were out and about in their bright and cheerful uniforms greeting the many visitors from various parts of the UK and abroad.?>
The Jewish ex-service Association were gathered in great numbers for their annual day of remembrance to pay their respects to fallen comrades and they were extremely interested in the RAFPA gathering having not seen out association on parade previously. Our members began assembling in the Café area from 0930 onwards; admiring the brand new RAFPA Best Recruit Trophy on display courtesy of the South Downs Branch. Some 52 members and their partners duly arrived right up to the form up time of 1130 hrs including seven standard bearers (one national and six branches). Our guests were the PM (RAF), Gp Capt John Whitmell, Gp Capt (rtd) Peter Clarke,Wg Cdr Leigh Spicer Padre RAF Cosford and the ubiquitous WO Bill Veasey, Parade Marshal.
The RAFPA marched past the dais where the PM (RAF) took the salute and the service began at the Memorial site at 1200 noon in brilliant June sunshine lead by Wg Cdr Leigh Spicer. The seven standards provided a magnificent back drop with all present in good and tuneful voice.Gp Capt Whitmell laid a wreath on behalf of the RAF Police, Gp Capt Clark laid a wreath on behalf of the association and a NE Branch member laid a wreath on their members. The last post was played by Capt David Keates (rtd) MBE, RBL Corp of Drums resplendent in full dress coat uniform, baring no resemblance to his three score years and 13 age. Some 71 of the 101 attending made their way to the RBL Alrewas for welcome refreshments and a first class buffet provided by Maureen of the RBL Catering Staff.
The vast majority of RAFPA members had departed for their various homes by the time of the all important England Football match kick off at 1500hrs-another annual event remembering our colleagues now departed was thus concluded.
Rest in Peace fellow comrades-till we meet again.
Over 70 good quality photographs here from Will Rudolf. Depending on your Broadband speed it could take around an hour to download if it is slow
The following 3 are from John Walton
The following are from Rowland Coultas