On Wednesday 6th April 2005, the Armed Forces Memorial Appeal was launched at a ceremony held in the cinema of the Imperial War Museum, London. The Appeal is to raise money (four million pounds to be exact) to build an Armed Forces Memorial at the National Arboretum, Staffordshire.
The memorial is to commemorate all the members of Armed Forces who have died whilst in service since the end of the Second World War in 1945. It will be unique in that it will include service personnel who have died during exercises or accidents as well as those who have lost their lives on operations.
There were many high profile guests at the launch including Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge, CinC Strike Command; General Sir Mike Jackson, Chief of the General Staff and a high ranking Naval Officer as well as BBC news reporter John Simpson and Falklands veteran Simon Weston.
Also invited to attend was Plt Off Daniel Davies, Cdt FS Daniel Goldman and Cdt Sgt Michelle Cheah all of 241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Squadron. Two Army Cadets and two Sea Cadets as well as their members of staff joined us. The cadet’s job was to meet guests at the entrance to the museum and escort them to the cinema where the appeal was being launched. The staff were tasked with escorting their respective Service VIP and showing them to their seats.
Once we had completed our task we were free to enjoy the complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits and listen to the appeal launch. Once the launch was over, a reception was held during which the many reporters present took pictures of the models of the memorial and the VIPs. Myself and Cdt FS Goldman tried to strategically place ourselves in the frame but we were politely requested to move!
Overall, it was a very prestigious event and one which I am extremely proud to have been a part of, albeit a small one.
Plt Off D. Davies