Right royal treat

SIR - With reference to the story “War veteran Joe was not amused by royal party...” (Sidmouth Herald, June 15).

I am sorry that Mr Joe Daniels did not enjoy the garden party and I would like to give my views of events and the right to reply.

We, the Royal Signals Association, Exmouth branch (of which I am the treasurer), received an invitation from the Not Forgotten Association for 16 of our members to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace on May 24, 2012, from 2pm to 5.15pm.

Mr Daniels was selected and asked if he would like to attend with a guest, which he accepted.

All of the members attending were contacted regarding transport/accommodation etc, and made aware that they were to meet their own costs.

Some members decided to spend several days in London. Others, like myself, decided to go up by taxi on the day at the cost of �50 per head (six-seater taxi at �300), which parked in the palace courtyard and returned us home after the garden party.

I did offer this option to Mr Daniels, but he declined and decided to make his own arrangements.

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The sandwiches and cake were small portions but were available all day long with cold drinks, followed later with strawberries and cream.

There were several celebrities who mixed in, chatting and being photographed with guests. The Duchess of Gloucester was very gracious, speaking to everyone individually after being introduced by Rosie Thompson, the head of events for the Not Forgotten Association.

Joe is a valued member of the Exmouth branch of the Royal Signals Association and I believe that his comments may have been taken out of context.

He would not mean to cast a slur on the Not Forgotten Association, which has provided so much support for our young disabled servicemen, and the not-so-young veterans, since 1920.

The other members of the Royal Signals Association who attended have all said how much they enjoyed the day and how privileged they were to have been invited.

Kenny Riach