Music Salutes our Armed Forces

Market Place on Saturday saluted our service personnel with the RAF Salon Orchestra playing to mark national Armed Forces Day.

The event was organised by Sara Abey, Henley’s Poppy Appeal organiser, with the help of local supporters, and Lady Cynthia Hall, Deputy Lieutenant.  They were joined by Richard Pinches dressed in WWII uniform with his 1940s jeep, fully rigged up in desert camouflage.  A Royal British Legion stall offered a wide variety of lapel pins and other poppy collectables to donors.

The orchestra treated the public to a varied repertoire including Bohemian Rhapsody and The Bare Necessities.

Sara Abey said, “Audience and passers’ by gave generously to our important cause and raised a generous £1, 600. The Market Place was the perfect setting for this talented orchestra to help us celebrate Armed Forces Day and make this such a great event. My thanks to all our enthusiastic volunteers, Lady Hall, a tireless ambassador and to Henley Town Council for allowing us to use the Market Place. Henley Freemasons energetically helped all throughout the event, with the logistics, transporting and setting up the gazebos – one of which was kindly loaned by  Honeys of Henley – and GAIL’s generously provided refreshments for our musicians. Among the many local businesses who helped promote the event, special mention must go to Hamptons for putting up advertising boards. It was the sort of community-powered event that Henley can be so good at.”

Lady Cynthia Hall said, “The Royal British Legion supports armed service personnel and their families all year round, and not everyone realises that. I was happy to help spread the word at Henley Poppy Appeal’s Armed Forces Day celebrations, an event greatly enjoyed by families and visitors.”

RAF Salon Orchestra Leader, Sgt  H J Eastburn-Pentreath said, “It was fantastic to be in Henley-on-Thames as part of the National Armed Forces Day events, providing musical accompaniment to the Royal British Legion’s Henley Poppy Appeal collection, in support of the wider Armed Forces Community. A huge thank you to all those who came and showed their support on the day.”