Message of Congratulations from Viscount De L’Isle, Lord-Lieutenant of Kent and Deputy President of SERFCA (Kent)
“I am delighted to congratulate Kent County Council on winning the prestigious Ministry of Defence 2018 Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for outstanding commitment and support towards the Armed Forces Community. This reinforces Kent’s long-standing support for the Armed Forces and their families. A significant number of veterans and their dependants live among us, as well as the Regular and Reserve Forces. Our magnificent young men and women of the Cadet Forces and CCFs will, I am sure, aid the continuance and growth of our support into the future.
This award is very much an award for all those involved. We can be pleased and proud of all those involved.”
Details of the Gold Award can be found at https://kccmediahub.net/gold-award-kccs-support-military745
The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE took the salute during the service held at The Step Short Arch on Lees Cliff Road, Folkestone on 22nd July. The Lord Warden of The Cinque Ports Admiral of The Fleet The Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL made an address, before unveiling two plaques marking the event.
The Parade then marched down the Road of Remembrance to the Harbour Arm from where many millions of soldiers crossed to the Western Front during the First World War. A number of soldiers never returned and were buried in the military war graves in France, of those who returned a number had suffered life-changing injuries in body or mind. There can be few Kentish families who did not lose at least one member of their number.
Lord De L’Isle said “The people of Folkestone should be proud of this iconic and enduring memorial, reminding us all of the part the town played in the First World War”
The Arch was opened by Prince Henry of Wales on 4th August 2014. A history of the Arch can be found at http://www.stepshort.co.uk/
On Saturday 14th July Mrs Georgie Warner DL represented the Lord- Lieutenant of Kent and opened the Centenary Gateway 1918-2018, at Brenchley Memorial Hall.
The site of the village hall, and cricket ground together with other green field space, were provided by the community in 1919 for the use of the community in perpetuity.
The poet, writer and soldier, Siegfried Sassoon was born in the parish in 1886 and often wrote about cricket in Brenchley. This superb gateway with locally made plaques depicting a soldier and a cricketer make a fitting addition to the Brenchley village site.
Deputy Lieutenant Peter Blackwell JP DL represented the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent at the RAF 100 plaque unveiling event at the Tunbridge Wells Cemetery on 14th July. The unveiling of the memorial was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the RAF and in memory of the 24 RAF personnel buried there.
Deputy Mayor Cllr James Scholes laid a wreath on behalf of the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and in his address mentioned that he was born six weeks after his father had died serving in the RAF. During the ceremony the band of 128 (Tunbridge Wells) Squadron ATC played four pieces. Mr Blackwell also gave an address where he referred to the three themes of RAF 100 – Commemoration, Celebration and Inspiration and he made reference to Royal Tunbridge Wells being the only town in the country to unveil a Memorial to the RAF dead of WW1 and WW2 as part of the Anniversary.
A special launch event for Maidstone’s 2018 Community Mela took place at the kalaRED bar restaurant in Maidstone on July 5th. The Community Mela and Food Festival celebrates music, visual arts, food and dance from around the world. The launch event was attended by key partners including representatives from local community groups, Kent County Council, Kent Police and Maidstone Borough Council. Guests included Deputy Lieutenant Trevor Sturgess DL who was representing the Lord-Lieutenant at the event, the Mayor of Maidstone Cllr David Naghi, and KCC Cabinet Member for Corporate and Democratic Services Cllr Eric Hotson.
The purpose of the launch was to update partners around the plans for the Community Mela this year and to inform them of the journey it has been on to raise the required funds for the event to take place again. The Community Mela is organised by Cohesion Plus and Kent Equality Cohesion Council supported this year by funding from Awards for All, KCC Members Fund, Golding Homes as well as donations from members of the public. The Mela has been taking place in the borough since 2003 and is delivered in partnership with local partners and volunteers who have all worked tirelessly to ensure that Mela will take place again this year.
According to Gurvinder Sandher who is leading on the Community Mela, “This year has been a particular challenge to raise the funds required to make the Community Mela happen. I am pleased to say we have finally managed to reach our target. We have a great programme planned both on and off stage and a range of stalls serving food from around the world. The Community Mela is a great example of an event that brings diverse communities together and celebrates the cohesion of Maidstone and our shared British values. We hope the residents of Maidstone will come out and support our work.”
Even in the presence of royalty, the Few inevitably steal the show – and it was Wing Commander Paul Farnes DFM who did just that at July’s Memorial Day commemorations at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone.
Wing Commander Farnes, two weeks short of his 100th birthday, took centre stage at a moving event that included a display by a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and music from the RAF Central Band.
The event was held in the presence of the Trust’s Patron, HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, who was welcomed by the Lord- Lieutenant of Kent, The Viscount De L’Isle MBE.
As well as marking the 25th anniversary of the unveiling of the National Memorial to the Few by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, this year’s Memorial Day marked the 100th anniversary of the RAF.
The Lord-Lieutenant recently visited the Royal British Legion Village to updated by Chief Executive, Mr Steve Sherry CMG OBE, on excellent progress made to date. RBLI is winning more attention for its integrated health and social care, which means it has something very powerful that can be replicated across the country.
RBLI is a separate charity, both in governance and finance, from the Royal British Legion. RBLI has a distinct and consistent focus on service delivery, particularly in providing employment, care and housing to the Armed Forces Community. It also delivers core capabilities of employment support for Veterans and people with disabilities into the much wider community, and is committed to halving the disability employment gap. RBLI values their very close working relationship with their sister charity the Royal British Legion. Its close co-operation allows both sectors to help as many beneficiaries as possible; for example sharing many facilities on the Village in Kent and also across the UK, when delivering its LifeWorks programme for Veterans.
Further information –
Mr Bill Cockcroft DL represented the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent in Maidstone at the raising of the 2018 Armed Forces Day Flag, which took place outside the Town Hall. The ceremony served as a salute to our Forces and all those who have served, past and present.
The Mayor of Maidstone, Councillor David Naghi welcomed the Maidstone Sea Cadets, local Councillors, representatives of the Army and officers from Kent Police.
Around 500 people attended celebrations at Gravesham Community Square on June 23rd to commemorate the Festival of Eid, one of the most important dates in the Muslim calendar. Eid marks the end of Ramadan when people from the Muslim faith fast during daylight hours.
The celebrations were arranged by Kent Equality Cohesion Council working in partnership with Gravesham Borough Council, Gravesend & Dartford Muslim Association and Gravesham Muslim Cultural Education Centre.
Deputy Lieutenant Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven DL represented the Lord-Lieutenant at the event. Also present were The Mayor of Gravesham, Cllr David Hurley, and Assistant Chief Constable Pete Ayling and representatives from different faith groups including the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, Hindu Cultural Society and Saint George’s Church.
The celebrations involved the raising of a flag celebrating the Festival of Eid, musical entertainment, fun fair, face painting and the handing out of free food to not only those in attendance but also members of the public passing by.
Gurvinder Sandher the CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council said “I was pleased with the positive response that the Eid Festival received not only from members of the public who attended but also the many partner agencies. To me the Eid Celebrations were like the other events we organise such as Saint George’s Day, it was an opportunity for the communities of Gravesham to come together and celebrate our shared values regardless of faith or if you had no faith at all.”
The Lord–Lieutenant and Viscountess De L’Isle hosted their Annual Civic Reception for all incoming Local Authority Mayors, District Council Chairmen and Chief Executives in the Barons Hall at Penshurst Place on 19th June.
In welcoming everyone to Penshurst Place the Lord-Lieutenant congratulated those civics present on being honoured as first citizen of their communities.
The Deputy Lieutenants, who act as an important link between The Lieutenancy and the Local Authorities were also present as hosts. In his speech Lord De L’Isle wished everyone, on behalf of his wife, Richard Oldfield the Vice-Lord-Lieutenant, and all members of the Lieutenancy, combined very best wishes for a happy and productive year in office.
Back to top