Many people came out in the sunshine on Saturday to show support for the Armed Forces Community for Armed Forces Day.
Armed Forces Day in the United Kingdom is an annual event celebrated to commemorate the service of men and women in the British Armed Forces with many events taking place across the country.
In Henley, both adults and children were particularly drawn to the two desert military vehicles that were on show, in the Market Place, with their drivers Richard Pinches and Josh Thatcher. Richard brought his 1943 Winnersh jeep which has been made up to be a long-range desert group vehicle. The jeeps also displayed a variety of wartime artifacts and paraphernalia, including some desert creatures. As well as learning some historical facts about desert warfare, many enjoyed being able to sit in the jeep themselves.
The Mayor, Sarah Miller said she was “delighted to be invited to such an event” and said that the Royal British Legion is a charity that is “close to my heart, having been a member of the RBL for many years. It is so important to recognise and celebrate the British Military Forces and I want to offer a huge thanks to everyone, who has helped make this day happen.”
Connie Butt, a local resident who has been supporting the RBL for over 20 years, said how much she gets out of being able to collect money for the British Legion and said, “Everyone in Henley should be very proud of what they have achieved so far and we look forward to more participation from members of the public to help raise funds in the future.”
Richard Pinches who has been supporting the RBL for over 5 years, and whose father was a driver in the war, said “It is important to support the charity and the ongoing support work they do especially as I have friends who are suffering from PTSD and have seen first-hand how this support impacts on those who need it.”
Councillor Dave Eggleton, who was part of the organising team for the Armed Forces Day, said “As a Town Council it is important we continue to support charities such as this.” On a personal note, Dave said “it is an honour to support and raise funds for the Royal British Legion.”
Cadets from the RAF, Army and Royal Marines were in attendance to support and help collect donations. Corporal Angus Timblick-Statham, who has been in the cadets since he was 10 years old and is now part of a small detachment of five Royal Marine Cadets said, “Armed Forces Day is an opportunity to spread information about the cadets and explain how the cadets have given him an insight, not only into the military but has taught me a lot of life skills including leadership, communication as well as working as part of a team.”
The Community Fundraiser for Oxfordshire, Yanto Evans, who was visiting Henley for Armed Forces Day, announced that “We finally have a new Poppy Appeal Organiser, Annie Arscott.”
Yanto also wanted to put a call out for volunteers to help raise funds in the coming year. If anyone wishes to help support the RBL please contact Annie Arscott via email: email@example.com