Celebrating our armed forces both past and present

Armed Forces Day 2018 unveiling roll of honour of WWI BCC staff who lost their lives
Armed Forces Day 2018 unveiling roll of honour of WWI BCC staff who lost their lives

They devote their lives to protecting us and tragically some make the ultimate sacrifice in war zones across the globe but their names and actions are never forgotten.

They devote their lives to protecting us and tragically some make the ultimate sacrifice in war zones across the globe but their names and actions are never forgotten. Every June Buckinghamshire County Council raises a flag to celebrate Armed Forces Day, in honour of the men and women from Buckinghamshire who have served in the armed forces both past and present.

Armed Forces Day flag raising group

Armed Forces Day flag raising group

Earlier today Chairman Netta Glover was joined by County Councillors, Deputy Lieutenants, RAF personnel and other civic dignitaries in Market Square in the presence of Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire and Group Captain James Brayshaw, Station Commander at RAF Halton, to mark the event. The Armed Forces Flag was raised by Army Veteran Lieutenant Colonel John Williams of Bedgrove who served in the Royal Logistics Corps.

The day was also used as the occasion for the Chairman and Council Leader, Martin Tett, to unveil two Rolls of Honour of past County Council staff who served and died during World War I and II. The WWII Roll of Honour listing 16 names previously hung by the entrance to the Old County Offices but has been kept in storage for the past three years since the building shut. The document will now be displayed in Old County Hall and will be joined by a new Roll of Honour listing the 22 members of staff who fought and lost their lives during World War I.

The new Roll of Honour was compiled by archives staff at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies drawing on County Council minutes during the wartime period, and cross-referencing with other contemporary sources such as newspapers. Full biographies of all the men killed are available at the Centre and will be included in the new Great War Buckinghamshire website which is due to launch soon.

Continuing the theme of remembrance, on 27 and 28 June, Chairman Netta Glover and Leader, Martin Tett will join a delegation of County Councillors to Belgium where they will lay a wreath at Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth War Cemetery on the Western Front where close to 12,000 fallen soldiers have been laid to rest.

The journey, made at the own expense of those travelling, is to honour the memory of Arthur Ormerod, a former Senior Weights and Measures Officer at County Hall who was killed at the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge on 20 September 1917. Arthur was a member of the Wiltshire Regiment and lived in Mandeville Road in Aylesbury. Sadly his body was never found but he is remembered on the Memorial at Tyne Cot.

Armed Forces Day flag raising with bugler Max Farmer, Lt Colonel John Williams, Chairman Netta Glover and Lord Lieutenant Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher

Armed Forces Day flag raising with bugler Max Farmer, Lt Colonel John Williams, Chairman Netta Glover and Lord Lieutenant Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher

Whilst in Belgium, Netta Glover will also lay a wreath at the Menin Gate at the Last Post Ceremony on 27 June. Several former Buckinghamshire residents are named on the Memorial Gate including Harold Randall who lived in Wing. Harold was killed on 31 July 1917 age 20.

Chairman, Netta Glover said: “It is so important that we remember all those who have sacrificed their lives in protecting our people and country as well as all those who have served and continue to serve in our armed forces.

“We are very lucky to have such brave and dedicated men and women willing to give their all for their country and regardless of however many years pass, we must never forget everything they have done and continue to do.”

For further information on the new Great War Buckinghamshire website and wartime archives, contact: archives@buckscc.gov.uk or tel: 01296 382587.

Armed Forces Day flag raising with Max Farmer (bugler) and Lt Colonel John Williams

Armed Forces Day flag raising with Max Farmer (bugler) and Lt Colonel John Williams