Another successful UK reunion: 77th anniversary at Lichfield 8th September

Sadly, the weather wasn’t great so we held the service in the chapel and afterwards laid the wreaths at the altar in the Greek Grove.

Father John, with his wife Georgina, together with Marina from their church, attended.  As usual their singing was delightful and really added to the service.

We were delighted to welcome Captain P Koulouris, the Greek Defence Attaché; Major Chris Shaw, with his fiancée, New Zealand Defence Staff; and Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Evans and his wife, the Department of Defence, Australian High Commission, who all laid wreaths.

Frank Gill, our President, who celebrated his 99th birthday in July, was with us with his daughter Trish and son-in-law Carl.

We were also very pleased to welcome, once again, Mrs Dora Cooper, 103 years old.  Dora is the widow of L/Cpl Francis Cooper of the 4th Q.O. Hussars, PoW, Stalag 18A.  Dora  was accompanied by her son Cyril.

Four standards were carried – thank you to Paul Hadwin, Thomas Morgan, Colin Pleavin and David Sanderson.

Janet Parkin, our Secretary, gave a welcome speech after which Carol Swinnerton read out a short poem which she had written and which is reproduced here:

“PETALS on the ground, they lie there fallen, like the men that went before. The past is done and gone, but someone’s FATHER, BROTHER, SON, when we think of them, they still live on.”

In addition to the wreaths laid by our special guests, see above, poppy tributes were also laid by Frank Gill – in memory of Fallen Comrades; Buster (Doug) Beckett – Prisoners of War;  Elizabeth Matthews – Widows; Mary Peterkin – Deceased Members and Mark Buttery on behalf of the Brotherhood.  Geoff Swinnerton gave the oration.  Len Cook, bugler, played the Last Post and Reveille and Barry Parkin acted as Parade Marshall.

Many thanks to you all for your contribution.

77th Anniversary UK Reunion 2018 updated time

This year’s service will be held at the National Memorial Arboretum, Lichfield on Saturday 8th September 2018 at 12.30pm (not 11.30am as previously advertised) in the Greek Grove, or if wet, in the Chapel. As in previous years, arrangements will be made for a buffet lunch after the service to be held locally. In addition, some of us use the opportunity to meet up and make a weekend of it, staying at nearby hotel. Please email us at if you would like more information.