The Queen visited the Royal Engineers as their Colonel-in-Chief on 13th October 2016, to mark the 300th Anniversary of the Corps foundation.
The sun shone in the crisp autumn morning as Her Majesty arrived at Brompton Barracks. The Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle MBE; The Chief Royal Engineer, Lt-Gen Sir Mark Mans KCB CBE; Corps Colonel, Colonel Don Bigger ADC; and Corps RSM WO1 Chris McLennan greeted Her Majesty on arrival.
A Guard of Honour was formed up on the Parade Ground commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Sean Cunniff and greeted Her Majesty with a Royal Salute. The Queen inspected the Guard of Honour and Royal Engineer Plant parked round the side of the Parade Ground, this gave an opportunity for the many past and serving Sappers and their families to see her, before she returned to the Saluting Base, where General Mans welcomed The Queen concluding his address with a quotation from Rudyard Kipling:
“There’s only one Corps which is perfect – That’s us.
An’ they call us Her Majesty’s Engineers,
Her Majesty’s Royal Engineers.
With the rank and pay of a sapper”
The Queen was graciously pleased to reply:
“The Corps of Royal Engineers has served the Nation proudly since 1716.
Often at the forefront of operations. You and your families have always risen to those challenges. I congratulate you all on reaching this point in your long and distinguished service”.
Following the parade The Queen toured the Sapper 300 exhibition and spoke to members of the Corps about the exhibits. During the tour The Queen was presented with a sundial designed and produced by the Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME).
Following a group photograph with the Senior Officers, The Queen attended a reception in the Officers’ Mess, followed by an All Ranks lunch. The Queen departed across the Parade Ground led by the Corps Band and Cheered by a large number of people who had attended the event, including a number of Sapper Chelsea Pensioners from The Royal Hospital in Chelsea.
It was an impressive day which will long be remembered by all those who were present.
A manufacturer of plastic pipe systems which exports around the world has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its international trading achievements. The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is given to businesses to recognise outstanding achievement. Polypipe Terrain which has a base in Aylesford, was presented with the award by the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent at its New Hythe Business Park site which employs more than 400 staff at the premises, being the main hub for its international exports. During the ceremony the citation was read by Mr Bill Cockcroft DL and the award was presented to Mr David Hall, the company’s CEO, by the Lord-Lieutenant.
Kent’s finest were honoured by The Queen with the presentation of their British Empire Medals (BEM).
Chosen for their outstanding community work and dedication, the 9 recipients, Mrs Jacqueline Clark (Goudhurst), Mr James Cooper (Canterbury), Mr Paul Emden (Folkestone), Mr Thomas Fisher (Kilndown), Mrs Ann Foat (Canterbury), Mr Michael Marshall (Folkestone), Mrs Pauline Panton (Sittingbourne), Mr Brian Sleightholm (Broadstairs) and Mr Richard Tyler (Dartford) were named in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list after the medal was reintroduced in the Diamond Jubilee year.
The Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle MBE, held an Investiture at Penshurst Place to present the nine Medallists with their award, following the official announcement in June this year.
The Ceremony took place in the Sunderland Room where guests of the recipients were able to witness the Ceremony. The short citations were read by Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Richard Dixon TD DL, a Deputy Lieutenant. Two of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets, Able Cadet Laura Potts from the Dover and Deal Sea Cadet Corps and Cadet Warrant Officer Jack Etherington from 2374 Ditton Squadron, Kent Wing ATC also assisted the Lord-Lieutenant during the Ceremony. In presenting the medals on behalf of The Queen, the Lord-Lieutenant congratulated the recipients for their dedicated work on behalf of others.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE held his annual awards presentation at The Canterbury Cathedral Lodge on 27th September 2016. Outstanding members of the Reserve Forces and Cadet Movements from all three services – Sea, Army and Air – were presented with medals and certificates in recognition of their dedicated service throughout the County. In addition, he has appointed 3 Lord-Lieutenant Cadets for 2017 who will accompany him on County engagements throughout the year.
The event was attended by Colonel Andrew Wood, Assistant Commander of 11 Infantry Brigade, with dignitaries from across Kent present to witness the ceremony, which was also attended by family, friends and colleagues of those receiving awards. Congratulating all the award winners, The Lord-Lieutenant said in his speech –
“I hope that you have been impressed by the demonstration of the volunteer ethos you have heard of from the citations of the worthy recipients. I would like to thank everyone here in the Reserve Forces and Cadets, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen and Kent, for their devoted service to society.
You have heard from Colonel Andrew Wood, Assistant Commander of our local 11 Infantry Brigade, concerning regional Defence issues. The Reserves are a critical part of our Defence and are deployed on operations at home and overseas. The support that you provide to these volunteers is extremely important.
I urge you to continue to encourage a wider knowledge of their commitment.
In particular, our volunteers need the support of employers that some of you represent or know; whether it is them giving Reservists time off to train or having Human Resources Reserves-friendly policies in place. Your help is invaluable. Our Volunteer Reservists and Cadet movements are doing a spectacular job.
Their service does wonders for individuals’ personal development and employability, which should be taken into account when key members of your staff are deployed. The Ministry of Defence has revised and improved the compensation given to employers of deployed Reservists.
Similar support applies to the four cadet forces. The cadets only flourish because of the dedication of the Adult Volunteers. Unfortunately, they are dropping in numbers across the country and we need you to join us in encouraging more to serve. The Cadet Movements provide fantastic opportunities to both the cadets and their volunteer instructors.”
Deputy Lieutenant Major Dennis Bradley BEM DL represented the Lord-Lieutenant at The Lyminge Good Citizens Awards for 2016. Lyminge is a small village with an average population of 2000 citizens and is surrounded by farmland and ancient forests. It was a wonderful occasion with about 120 villagers gathered at the village hall for the awards ceremony.
There were 22 recipients of the awards for voluntary service ranging from work as the leader of the Brownies involved with the Parish Church, and assisting at School events, to Volunteering Work within the Lyminge Association in arranging fun days, garden safaris and arranging Christmas decorations and being a member of the friends of Lyminge. The recipients of the awards were a very diverse and worthy list of participants who all worked voluntarily for their village.
Major Bradley said it was a real privilege to be able to take part in what was a very well organised occasion celebrating the voluntary work carried out by members of this active and close knit community.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent was delighted to cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony of the new £19 million bridge over the Medway which links the upper reaches and Aylesford village – some eight miles away. Part of a £50 million infrastructure built by developer Trenport Investments and aided by £19.5 million of loan funding from the Government’s Homes & Communities Agency, the bridge serves the future residents of Peters Village, plus the existing villages of Wouldham, Burham and Eccles on the river’s east bank and Halling on the west.
Halling and Wouldham are closest to the bridge and were previously 25 minutes apart by road, a foot ferry having stopped running in the 1960s. The villages were also briefly connected by a military Bailey Bridge during World War II.
The Lord Lieutenant, who said he was pleased to note how the project had been completed within budget and on time, unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of Peters Bridge, named after the family who ran the area’s former cement works and quarries and a new 1,000-home community known as Peters Village, now arising from this brown field site.
The Lord-Lieutenant said at the opening ceremony: ‘The ceremonial county of Kent is an assortment of differing communities, this new link will make the borough of Tonbridge and Malling, and the unitary authority of Medway, more accessible to each other. As Lord-Lieutenant my mantra has always been that Kent is best talked about as a whole rather than a sum of its differing parts. This bridge will give further impetus to proving we are a united county.’
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade was awarded to AXA PPP on the 9th September, 2016 and it recognises the substantial and sustained increase in export earnings over three consecutive 12-month periods for the company. The award, in the form of a crystal bowl, was presented by Viscount De L’Isle, the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, who was last at the company to present The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade sector in September 2011, and to open the company’s new offices.
The Lord-Lieutenant said of the Award:
‘May I once again congratulate everyone at AXA PPP International who has contributed to your continuing remarkable success. It is always a great pleasure to present these awards on behalf of Her Majesty, to victors based in Kent, that are making their names around the world and especially for a second award within five years. If you continue to win awards at this rate you will need to enlarge your trophy cabinet!
Today’s award again recognises what is an exceptional achievement by any standards – especially at a time of uncertainty, as Trade links with the European Union are being changed. This will mean we all need to seek out new markets across the world and build strong links with other nations. A great amount of dedication and effort by everyone in the team goes into achieving and maintaining the success recognised by this Award. I congratulate and thank each and every person involved in the company’s remarkable success story and for what you are achieving from your base in our great County of Kent.’
The International Managing Director for AXA PPP, Tom Wilkinson, said he was thrilled by the company’s recent achievement of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.
Guests at the celebration for the award included the Tunbridge Wells Mayor Councillor David Neve and Deputy Lieutenant George Jessel.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust Annual Memorial Day was held at Capel-Le-Ferne and representing the Lord Lieutenant of Kent was Richard Oldfield DL, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant.
The Lord–Lieutenant and Viscountess De L’Isle hosted a reception for The High Sheriff, Lord Mayor of Canterbury and all other incoming Local Authority Mayors and Chairmen in the Barons Hall at Penshurst Place on Thursday 16 June 2016. In welcoming everyone to Penshurst Place the Lord-Lieutenant congratulated those civics present on being honoured as first citizen of their communities. Two of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets Cadet CSM Tom Hunt and Cadet Sgt Tidd were on duty.
The Deputy Lieutenants, who act as a link between The Lieutenancy and Local Authorities were also present as hosts, and met the guests. In concluding his speech Lord De L’Isle wished everyone on behalf of his wife, Richard Oldfield- Vice-Lord-Lieutenant, and all members of the Lieutenancy, combined very best wishes for a happy, memorable and productive year in office.
Honoured for his positive contribution to the County and the Nation, Air Marshal Christopher Nickols CB CBE MA FRAeS has been appointed as a new Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.
Air Marshal Nickols was born in Kent and educated at St Edmund’s School, Canterbury and Downing College, Cambridge, where he read Engineering. He spent a full career in the Royal Air Force from 1977 to 2012 flying Jaguars and Tornados in Germany and the UK and on Operations over Iraq. He held a wide range of other RAF appointments, including Command of UK Air Forces in the Middle East for Afghanistan and Iraq Operations in 2002/03 and Chief of Defence Intelligence. On retirement from the RAF in 2012, he became Controller (Chief Executive) of the RAF Benevolent Fund, the leading welfare charity for the RAF family, both serving and veterans.
He holds a number of voluntary positions with other military charities, is a Governor/Trustee of St Edmund’s School, Canterbury and is a Voluntary Steward at Canterbury Cathedral.
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE said: “In appointing Air Marshal Nickols we are further strengthening a team of men and women who share their great experience, in helping me support The Queen and her family throughout the ceremonial county of Kent”.
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