Remembrance Day 2014

Some photographs from the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance opening yesterday, 6 November. As you can see it was HRH Prince Harry who performed the opening; HRH the Duke of Edinburgh was with HM the Queen, and HRH Prince William I think, at Wellington Barracks for the dedication of a new memorial containing the Flanders earth.

It was a crisp, chilly morning, but that didn’t keep the numbers down or the crowds away. Prince Harry was on very good form and shared a few words with pretty much every one who was in front of their plots. The larger crosses are labelled from the Provost Marshal and All Ranks RAF Police; the National Chairman, Executive Council and All Members RAF Police Association; and also, because the Branch paid for one, the Chairman, Committee and All Members RAF Police Association, London & Home Counties Branch. A named cross was planted for each named person on the RAF Police Association website Roll of Honour – compiled and maintained by Steve Davies. My thanks got to L&HC Branch member Frank Turner for preparing all of those crosses.

Additionally one of each of the Remembrance religious / non-religious markers was planted “For All RAF Police Who Have Fallen”. I also planted named crosses for those former RAFP personnel who have recently died: Dave Copland, Keith Adams, Eric Harrison and Liz Taylor. There is just about enough room for a few others to be planted if people are so minded.

The photo of Prince Harry planting his cross – with me in the far background – was taken from the BBC website, so if that one is published anywhere due recognition should be made. The two photos of the plot were taken by me and the one of Prince Harry speaking with me was taken by a lady stood behind us.

Taken from the BBC website

Michael Hall and Nigel Bean at the Air Museum, Newark

Nigel Bean and  Chris Gangle on parade in the morning in Newark Town

 John Davage after the Lower Winchendon service

Barry Swallow - Melton Mowbray

Edinburgh contingent showing left to right
Peter Copp; Ian Gordon, Gus McGowan, and Bill Watson.

Alan Weeks carried the North East Branch Standard at the Memorial Gardens, Newbiggen by the Sea, Northumberland Remembrance Sunday Ceremony. A wreath was laid on behalf of the North East Branch. The large poppy circle which stands at the centre of the Memorial Gardens was created using poppies from wreaths laid at earlier years ceremonies

I attended my local war memorial in South Bank for the remembrance service to discover that I was the only person there who was wearing a "uniform" . As I approached the area The local Vicar, who was taking the service, came over, shook my hand and said, "It is great to see a veteran at the ceremony with medals, Would you care, as a veteran, to read the final part of the act of remembrance for us?" As you can probably imagine, it was quite a surprise to receive such an impromptu request. Needless to say I agreed.

They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn:
At the going down of the sun and in the morning:
We will Remember them.

Ian Myles

Due to being the organiser of the Remembrance Services for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council I am unable to parade in person but feel really honoured to be able to ensure that the RAF Police are represented here in Blackburn and Darwen.

The link is from our local Lancashire Telegraph, we have certainly had the largest turn out for all the services.

Graham Brunton
Mayor's Officer
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Remembrance Sunday in London this year (2014) was again very sunny and quite mild. This was the Association's twelfth appearance and some 60 members plus 2 serving Warrant Officers marched with "eyes left" at the Cenotaph and later on "eyes right" to HRH Prince Andrew.
As Stew McArdle has now retired from his meeting and greeting duties, Brian Davies has kindly volunteered to call the roll, and this he did with a smile!!
Once more this year, we were led by former PM and Association VP, retired Group Captain Ted Scaplehorn OBE and Association Chairman Mr Brian Flinn. They were "escorted" by retired Goup Captains John Rose OBE and David Stanley.
This year, our usual busy young(ish) ladies, Bobbi and Maggie were joined by Vic Smith's daughter Michelle and so there should be even more photos than usual.
Our regular large Right Marker, Brian Burgess was carrying a private wreath and so Roy Laver OBE (LHC Branch) stood in.
Our permanent Left Marker and TV target, George (Badger) Brookes, carried our contingent marker C22. This year it was the turn of Column C to lead the parade (next year Column C will be second off) and so we were lined up on the Downing Street side of Whitehall.
Our wreath carriers were Vic Smith (on his 12th successive appearance) with the Provost Marshal and serving RAF Police wreath. The Association wreath was carried by Association Secretary, Alan Weeks.
By kind permission of the Provost Marshal, (Group Captain Kevin Bailey), Warrant Officer Graeme Spark pushed Dennis Cothay in his wheel chair. (Stew Mc Ardle in a wheelchair for the first time was pushed by volunteer Mick Griffin!!).
Warrant Officer Dale Woolman-Lane MBE in full great coat order (with sword) assisted our Association National Parade Marshal Mr Bill Veazey MBE. Bill (and some unbiased wives) thought our drill and turnout was the best ever!
At 12.30, the National Anthem was played on Horse Guards Parade and having been "dismissed" by Bill Veazey, we made our way (promptly) back through the Arch, across Whitehall and downstairs into the basement of the Silver Cross pub. Altogether, there were some 115 noisy, thirsty and hungry bodies including the Provost Marshal in No 1 HSD with medals.
This year the crowds were thicker, the police were out in their hundreds and the applause was the loudest we have heard.
Also on parade were Archie Heath and Tony Harbour of the South Downs Branch marching with the carers and members of the Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstans).
At both performances at the Royal Albert Hall the Association Standard was paraded by our Association National Parade Standard Bearer, Mr Nigel Lacey.
At the evening performance at the Royal Albert Hall our Association National Chairman and his wife Joy were the guests of the Royal British Legion President, Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson. Brian and Joy later attended the President's Reception at the very top (inside) of the Royal Albert Hall.
The events of Saturday and Sunday followed Bill Veazey's great efforts last Thursday in the Garden of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey. After the Parade on Sunday, we went to see the Garden and with great pride we viewed the RAFP and RAFPA immaculate corner of the RAF section. Well done Bill and his most worthy assistant Frank Turner (LHC Branch).
What a great weekend for the RAF Police and the RAF Police Association.
John Walton


Pictures from Mike Lester - London

Pictures from John Walton - London

Pictures from Bobbi Stenning - London

France from John Reid
Just back from our village Armistice Day commemoration. About 60 of us gathered to pay our respects and after flowers were lain and I laid my cross, speeches were read out from the French President and President d'Ancien Combatants. Prior to the event I handed out leaflets explaining the meaning of The Poppy ( in French). At the end of the ceremony we all retired to the village hall for drinks.....some things never change !

Pictures from the Silver Cross - John Walton

Roliša, Portugal, this morning, in company with members of the local British Historical Society, at the memorial to Lt Col George Lake, who was killed during an attack on the French lines by a combined British/Portuguese force in what would lead to the defeat and expulsion of the French occupying force from Portugal in August 1808. During the gather of around 30 people, I discovered that I was one of 4 former RAF present, the others being a former C130 loadmaster, a chef and a fireman.


 from Alex Oliver

This year marked a change of venue for Goulburn's Remembrance Day commemorations with the service moved from the Market Street cenotaph to Rocky Hill for the first time.

In sunny conditions, Goulburn RSL Sub Branch President Gordon Wade joined with returned service men and women and the family and friends of those who've served the country to pay their respects and remember the sacrifices of so many Australia across the years.

At the same time, at schools and workplaces across town, Goulburnians stopped what they were doing at 11am to remember those who risked, and those who gave their lives.