Setting the record straight on forces day


- Credit: Archant

My dear friends, I’d like to thank all who attended Sidmouth’s Armed Forces Day tribute in Blackmore Gardens.

The event went extremely well, as did the service conducted by the Reverend Robin Laird. I’d like to thank the air training corps for their attendance, they looked splendid in their uniforms.

As for the letter published in last week’s Sidmouth Herald regarding bad behaviour, I did go personally to greet the veteran and hoped he enjoyed the service. After the service it was indicated that access into the memorial club was difficult but nobody, including the family of the veteran, had the presence of mind to open the double doors. I pushed my way through the crowd and then opened these doors to allow more access and assist people coming into the club.

It was mentioned that the memorial club was oversubscribed, but we had a small amount of tickets available with only 12 left over. The memorial club is a members’ club and there was no way that we would be able to stop members coming in.

I felt sorry for the wheelchair-bound veteran that, as was indicated, was not greeted by anyone, but there was no reason why members of his family could not have taken this up.

By all accounts, they all left the club and went for a pub lunch. If the family feel this way inclined, I would gladly reimburse their £2 ticket money for the buffet and also the cost of their pub lunch out of my own pocket. The cost of the tickets, as mentioned, was only £2 per head. I defy anyone in Sidmouth to find even one sandwich for this amount.

It was also indicated that the members of the RBL were patting themselves on the back. This is not the case, the legion is always here to help and advise. If anyone needs a good pat on the back it should be Ian, the steward at the memorial club, and his staff who did an excellent job.

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Semper fidelis

Dave O’Connor

Sidmouth Branch, Royal British Legion.