11 November 2020
With parades and most Remembrance events unable to go ahead due to the lockdown, cadets and adults from across the county chose to engage in hundreds of individual acts of Remembrance. Here are some of them.
Commandant Colonel Fraser-Hitchen laid a wreath to commomerate The Mercian Regiment. Colonel Fraser-Hitchen has served with various Regiments over his 34 year army career and has extensive operational experience having served in Northern Ireland, the former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He said; 'As we remember those who have been affected by conflict, I would ask you to clear your minds of our first world problems and focus on the important; the sacrifice of those that have gone before us and for those ‘now’ that have come back from more recent operations with physical or mental health challenges. For them and their families, life is not easy. And so, if only once a year, today, please don’t forget those that secured the everyday freedoms we have. Because, in reality – freedom is never free.'
Cadet Katie Buckminster made her act of Remembrance on her front door step. She said; 'Having seeing many veterans at my dad's work (at The Royal British Legion Industries) remembering those that have been lost in previous conflicts, and those that have returned with life changing injuries, I believe that Remembrance is very important in honouring their sacrifices for our way of life that we are privileged to live today.'
Sergeant Instructor Andrew Phipps is a Detachment Instructor at Huntingdon and a MOD Firefighter. His long and impressive career as a Navy and MOD firefighter has spanned 39 years, including working for the Merchant Navy, in which capacity he served in The Falklands War in 1982. He has also served with The Royal Navy Reserves and trained as a Mine Warefare Specialist. He now works at RAF Lakenheath where he deals with aviation accidents, and structural and medical calls. On Remembrance Sunday, he wore his medals to work and stood to attention 11.00am to pay his respects. He said; 'we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country and acknowledge our responsibility to work for the peace they fought hard to achieve, not only in the First or Second World War but any conflict that Great Britain has been a part of. By remembering their service and their sacrifice, we recognize the tradition of freedom these men and women fought to preserve. I believe that their actions have made a significant difference for the future, but it is up to us to ensure that their dream of peace is realized.'
Staff Sergeant Instructor Dave Moller and his step daughter Cpl Samantha Bowler-Legate (Waterbeach Detachment) tended the grave of 1 Royal Anglian Regiment Soldier Robert Hayes, who was killed in Afghanistan on 3rd January 2010. He is burried at Burwell. Cpl Bowler-Legate said; 'Its important to me to remember, because my great uncle was killed in World War 1, and also to remember all service personnel who gave their lives so we can live the life we are free to live today.'
Sergeant Instructor Rylan Ray paid his respects at Peterborough Cenotaph. SI Ray has recently started training as a reservist with The Royal Logistics Corps. He said 'This year has been very different and it has meant we were not able to celebrate the 75th anniversaries of VE Day or VJ Day in the way we would have liked. However, it had made us appreciate more than ever, the importance of sacrifices. For that reason we felt we absolutely had to remember the countless sacrifices that have been made in so many different conflicts around the world. With the government approving of COVID secure services, we decided to conduct our own small service to show the thanks of all cadets, instructors and family members on behalf of 1 Company.'
Cadet Corporal Jacob Davenport has been a cadet at Ramsey Detachment for 5 years. On Sunday he paid his respects at St Thomas a Becket Church, Ramsey. He said; 'Remembrance day is important to show our respect for the dead and its is more important to me as members of my family had served in the armed forces.'
Text by PI Doug Stuart