Honour for heroes past and presentBy Laura Herbert
June 24, 2009
Members of the Armed Forces past and present will be honoured in a special ceremony on Sunday.
This week Reading has been flying the flag to mark the UK’s first national Armed Forces Day on Saturday, formerly Veterans Day, to celebrate the achievements of service men and women.
As part of the town’s celebrations, 20 veterans will be honoured with a HM Veterans Badge in a special ceremony the next day, Sunday, at 4pm in Forbury Gardens as part of a host of activities in the town centre.
Among those recognised at the event will be 69-year-old Herbert Bull from Tilehurst, who will receive his Veterans Badge following 37 years’ service in the Territorial Army.
Mr Bull is still working as an accountant at the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) base in Arborfield Garrison.
Mayor of Reading councillor Fred Pugh will also award Mr Bull’s son Keith with the honour for his 22-years’ service in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.
The 42-year-old, who now lives in Basingstoke, said: “I feel pleased as punch to be given the honour.
“It just proves that no matter what you have done you will be honoured.”
The Sunday celebrations kick off from noon at Forbury Gardens when The Band of the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers will open the event with a performance in the bandstand at noon.
Representatives of REME Garrison Arborfield and HQ Company 7 Rifles will stage demonstrations while information stands about all aspects of the Armed Forces will fill the gardens.
REME will also host a static vehicle display in Broad Street and the REME band will perform at The Oracle Riverside before returning to Forbury Gardens for the closing ceremony.
Members of Tilehurst Royal British Legion will have a double celebration, as they will also be marking the club’s 75th anniversary.
On Friday the club in Downing Road will host its Anniversary Dance with the Mayor and his wife Jean as special guests.
The community team at the club will also hold an information stand at the Armed Forces celebration on Sunday while the Women’s Section take part in a parade.
In the run-up to the ceremony, the multimedia We Were There exhibition launched during Black History Month in 2006 will be open at Broad Street Mall.
The exhibition is designed to highlight the often under-recognised contributions made by men and women from Africa, Asia, The West Indies and other Commonwealth countries over the past 250 years.
- For full details of the weekend’s events make sure you get a copy of Friday’s getreading newspaper.