Eight adult volunteers from 1 Company, Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force, travelled to March on Sunday 13th September to help make a 90 year old veteran’s birthday special.
The family of Staff Sergeant Bert Gore had invited Cambs ACF to attend his birthday celebrations and let him know his service in the armed forces was appreciated. Staff Sgt. Gore was presented with a military themed card, 90th birthday balloons, a cake and a march past by the adult volunteers. Flautists Sgt Richard Neaverson and Staff Sgt. Darren Tyler played him Happy Birthday, and the Regimental March of his former Regiment, The Royal Corps of Transport.
Bert Gore and family. He is holding the card given to him by Cambs ACF. Pictures: Doug Stuart
Coronavirus safety was of paramount concern, all the events occurred outside, and The Cadet Instructors ensured social distancing was observed and masks were generally worn except for photos.
The events caused considerable local interest, with many neighbours coming out of their houses to see Bert, listen to the music and watch the ACF Instructors march past.
Bert Gore had a long and varied career with the Armed Forces, first joining the RAF as a National Service conscript in 1948, then voluntarily joining the RAF Reserve. He had to leave the RAF due to defence cuts, and so he joined the army, serving as a Territorial reservist with The Royal Artillery, then The Royal Engineers and finally The Royal Corps of Transport. He retired in 1983.
Cambs ACF instructors march past Bert Gore's house. Picture: Doug Stuart
Bert clearly enjoyed the visit and chatted (at a distance) with the Cadet Force volunteers. He said; ‘Its been a really nice surprise, I’ve really enjoyed the day, and thank you for coming. If I had known to expect you- I would have worn my Regimental tie!’
The Cadet Instructors also really enjoyed being part of the birthday celebrations, with Sgt. Neaverson saying ‘today has gone brilliantly, I especially enjoyed being able to play the flute to one of my fellow veterans who was part of The Royal Corps Transport which became part of my (former) Regiment, The Royal Logistics Corps.’ Sgt Rylan Ray, who is currently training as a reservist with the Royal Logistics Corps, said ‘Its been a really good day and an opportunity to come out and thank Bert for everything he has done in the past. ’
Major Lesley Deacon, the Officer Commanding 1 Company, said ’It was a great privilege to meet Bert and his family today, and help him celebrate his birthday. The Army Cadet Force believes its extremely important that give our veterans the respect they deserve, I was really pleased that so many of my adult volunteers wanted to come and support this event.’
Bert Gore's medals and badges. Picture; Doug Stuart
Text by PI Doug Stuart