Bill enjoys military party for 100 years
AMONG the VIP guests at Saturday's Sounding Retreat at Exeter's Wyvern Barracks was veteran Bill Maeer from Sidmouth.
AMONG the VIP guests at Saturday's Sounding Retreat at Exeter's Wyvern Barracks was veteran Bill Maeer from Sidmouth.Mr Maeer "thoroughly enjoyed" the event, listening to the pipes and drums of the City of Exeter Pipe Band and the Salamanca Band and Bugles of the 6th Battalion The Rifles, said Dave O'Connor of Sid Park Road, who took him.Mr O'Connor, well known in Sidmouth as the standard bearer during Remembrance Day parades, founded the Sidmouth Territorial Army branch in 1959, while Bill, of All Saints Road, joined the TA in 1938.This year is the TA's centenary and Saturday's event was part of the celebrations to mark that and the first anniversary of The Rifles.The pair were invited as guests of Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Tom Mereweather."Bill really enjoyed himself although it poured down with rain," said Mr O'Connor, whose wife Shirley accompanied him."There was a reception for about 150 people. We had champagne and nibbles to start."There were three large awnings for us to sit under, but the pipes and drums got drenched. They put on an excellent performance and donations were given to the Army Benevolent Fund."Rain cleared for The Rifles' band, which played a medley of music from quick and slow marches to Oggy! Oggy! Oggy!Director of music was Major Chris Willis and bugle major was CSgt Tony Cox.Mayors from around Devon and Dorset attended the evening.