Welcome to the Aldershot branch

Airborne Engineers Association

Branch News

Aldershot - December 2017
Dave Rutter – Secretary

With many commemoration events held throughout the summer and autumn months many of our members have traveled near and far to attend these gatherings.

The Falklands 35th Anniversary commemoration was held in Aldershot during the weekend 17-18 June. Being on our doorstep, many branch members joined in with the commemorations, taking the opportunity to meet and greet former colleagues and friends. The local pubs and bars on Saturday were crowded with Falkland veterans and serving representatives from 23 Para Engr Regt, the Parachute Regiment and many other units and associations. It was all reminiscent of an 'Airborne Forces weekend' of yesteryear.
The Sunday program commenced in the morning with a Drumhead Service held in the Aldershot Cemetery. Later in the early afternoon, serving units, veterans and other associations formed up in front of the Aldershot Princess Hall before stepping off, led be the band of the Parachute Regiment, through the main streets of the town. Thousands of spectators lined the route and gave a rousing rounds of applause as each of the units marched past.

Henry Cooper, Geoff Barlow, Mick Humphries & Chris Davies march past the saluting dais.

Dismissed from the parade, the local pubs and bars were soon filled with individuals in various coloured berets and cap badges quenching their thirst and reacquainting themselves with former colleagues and friends.

Various branch members have also attended commemoration events at the National Arboretum, Double Hills and Arnhem.

On a lighter note, we once again held our annual BBQ in the gardens of Fred and Betty Gray. Fred and a team of helpers, mainly from Fred & Betty's family, erected a small marque and other tentage to accommodate the 40+ attending. With hindsight they needn't have put themselves to so much work as the weather on the day was absolutely scorching hot. Most used the cover to shelter from the sun.
Once again the BBQ was a great success and much praise was given to Tony our chef and to the ladies for providing the large variety of salads etc.

Our raffle raised £150 and as previously agreed at a branch meeting, the funds were donated to the "Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel Window Restoration Fund Appeal". This together with a previous donation to "Veterans in Action" brings our total contribution to charities throughout the year to £450.00.

On a welfare matter, we helped one of our member's wife in seeking the assistance and guidance from the Guildford SSAFA chairman, for her husband whose medical condition was causing concern. She has been delighted in the guidance and assistance provided by SSAFA. You will have noticed that a letter of introduction from SSAFA has been included in this issue and it is hoped that this information will be taken on board by all readers in need of help.



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