Tribute paid to former members of armed services at moving ceremony

TRIBUTE was paid to former members of the armed services at a moving ceremony in March last week.

Veterans from all the forces - many accompanied by family members – attended a special service organised by Fenland District Council at St Peter’s church on Friday.

Thirty-two people, including three women, were presented with the HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge by Freddie Grounds, the Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, and Dr Nigel Brown, the High Sheriff.

They were assisted in the presentation by wheelchair-bound Lee Norris, a former member of the Armoured Corps, Royal Lancers, who kept his pet dog, Lucy, on his lap throughout the ceremony.

Applause rippled through the church as each veteran received their badge.

Councillor Ralph Butcher, Chairman of Fenland District Council, told them: “It is an honour and a privilege to be part of this presentation of your Tri-Service HM Armed Forces badge, in recognition of your continuing contribution to society and to promote your service to the British public. I hope you will wear the badge with pride in your civilian life.”

The service was led by the Rev Anthony Chandler, rector of St Peter’s. It included two hymns popular among servicemen – “For those in peril on the sea” and “O God our help in ages past” - prayers and a poignant poem read by William Evans, a former naval officer who once served as batman to Lord Mountbatten.

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Afterwards the veterans mingled and swapped memories of their experiences at a buffet lunch in the church hall.

Earlier they had been welcomed to the church by two kilted pipers from the Peterborough Highland Pipe Band.

The Veterans Badge was launched in 2004 to raise the profile of former service personnel. It carries the Tri-Service Anchor, Crossed Swords and Eagle motif.

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