23 April 2018
Ely detachment received Mess silver from Roy Neale. Roy's Wife Mrs Neale first contacted county HQ earlier this year and the detachment commander at Ely, AUO Darryl Garner was given her contact details and he then contacted Mrs Neale where upon they then arranged a meeting for 24 March at the care home, where her husband was being cared for.
Roy Neale is an ex serving soldier when he was awarded the mess silver for long service whilst serving in the Royal Artillery regiment. He finished his time served as a steward in the Officers Mess.
Mrs Neale had brought along some photos of Roy whilst he was serving and AUO Garner and Mr Neale spoke at length about the army and the differences between today and when he served. Roy took a particular like to the Royal Anglian cap badge that AUO Garner gifted him.
Once Roy left the army he became a lorry driver.
Before AUO Garner left Roy explained that he wanted to gift his mess silver to Ely detachment as it would pass memories on that could be enjoyed by many other people in years to come.
AUO Garner then arranged for afternoon tea to be laid on at the Cadet Training Centre, Waterbeach and invited both Mr and Mrs Neale to come to tea, along with Roy’s carer from the care home, where the mess silver could be presented to the detachment. On the 13th April Roy and his wife arrived at Waterbeach where Roy was given a full tour of the county headquarters, including the different weapon systems that the cadets use and how much things have changed since he was serving.
During tea and cake Roy spoke with Lt Col Tony Cattermole and Lt McConnell, as they both served with the Royal Artillery, they shared stories and enjoyed talking to each other. Roy then enjoyed looking at the video that was made at annual camp, so he could have a quick insight into cadet life.
The afternoon was concluded by the presentation of handing over the mess silver where its new home will be in Waterbeach where members of the mess can enjoy it.
AUO Garner said, “I feel it is a great honour for the detachment to receive the mess silver. It has been a wonderful experience to receive something like this and for it to be situated in a place people can enjoy it.”
Roy and his wife both really enjoyed their afternoon.