TRH meeting the residents of Yalding. (c) Martin Apps/Kent Messenger

TRH meeting the residents of Yalding. (c) Martin Apps/Kent Messenger

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall paid a short visit to Yalding on 19th March 2014, to thank the many people who had helped during the Christmas Floods.

TRH were greeted by a large crowd including children from the local Primary School, which led to an impromptu walk-about, before TRH entered the Church of St Peter and St Paul, which had acted as a control centre during the crisis. During the ensuing hour they met groups of people who had played a significant part in the rescue and recovery in the village.

A surprise visit was made to Teapot Island, owned by Mr and Mrs Blazye, which had been inundated by the floods and  while they were preparing for the new season. The odour of fresh paint was in evidence, an aroma not unfamiliar to members of the The Royal Family!

The Prince of Wales is presented with a teapot depicting the Queen on one side and Queen Victoria on the other. (c) Martin Apps, Kent Messenger

The Prince of Wales is presented with a teapot depicting the Queen on one side and Queen Victoria on the other. (c) Martin Apps/ Kent Messenger


The Procession entering Canterbury Cathedral

The Procession entering Canterbury Cathedral

The ninth Civic Service was held in Canterbury Cathedral and was attended by Civic Leaders of Kent, Chairmen of Parish Councils, The Clergy, Magistrates, Armed Forces representatives, Police, Emergency Services and a multitude of individuals from a cross-section of voluntary organisations, working for the public good.

From left to right: The Dean, The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis DL; The Viscountess De L'Isle; The Lord-Lieutenant and Cadet SSgt Ben Williams

From left to right: The Dean, The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis DL; The Viscountess De L’Isle; The Lord-Lieutenant and Cadet SSgt Ben Williams

The Lord-Lieutenant said “On behalf of Her Majesty I thank you all for what you are doing for Kent’s communities. You are doing Kent proud”.

The congregation of about 840 demonstrated the event’s continuing popularity and enduring support that there is for the county of Kent.

The Service in progress

The Service in progress

The Lord-Lieutenant gave an address in which he outlined the Lieutenancy’s plans to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War. The events which are being specifically promoted are:

Monday 4th August.

Monday 22nd September  

The Lord-Lieutenant is aware there are many other events being planned and hopes if appropriate, a member of the Lieutenancy will be asked to attend. The Civic Service was sponsored by The Allan Willett Foundation.

Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven DL with Mr James Barnor.©Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven DL

Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven DL with Mr James Barnor. © Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven DL


The Medway Ghanaian Association (MGA) was founded in 2011 as a  non-profit making, non-religious, dedicated, community- based voluntary association. It was set up to inform, educate and entertain Ghanaians, Ghanaian descendants and British citizens with Ghanaian heritage, living in Medway and its surrounding towns.

On 8th March Dr  Bhargawa Vasudaven DL attended the 57th Ghanaian Independence Day celebrations at the Sunlight Centre in Gillingham on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant. He experienced  a cohesive community group embracing all African nationals and supporting each other, with good values and within a solid family atmosphere.

A variety of Community leaders spoke and showed their appreciation and support to the MGA. There was  a genuine sense of their belonging to their group, and their open-hearted hospitality was appreciated by all.

Dr Vasudaven spoke at the event stating:

‘Like some of you, I too came to this country as an immigrant 33 years ago, to study, and to work. We are very proud in the UK to have a diverse multicultural society. As it is important to remember one’s roots, it is also important to look forward to being part of an integrated society.  Volunteering and Community service have always been the core elements of British Society. It helps us also to understand diverse issues, and contribute to the bigger picture of our society’s needs.’

‘I commend the  Medway Ghanaians for  your talents, skills and the contributions  you have made – working  together, being creative, learning from each other, looking after each other, and enjoying  the arts and leisure activities, contributing to our local community. ’

Many helping hands to cut the celebratory cake! ©Medway Ghanaian Association

Many helping hands to cut the celebratory cake!     © Medway Ghanaian Association

Dr Vasudaven was invited to cut the cake with his wife Sharon, and he asked some of the children to help him as can be seen in the photo opposite. The ladies in the background were some of the prime organisers of the event.

Mr James Barnor a professional artist/photographer who it is understood exhibited his photos at the Tate Gallery last year, and who was at the Ghanaian Independence Day 57 years ago, was also present at the event.  He was the first Ghanaian to graduate from Medway in 1961. He now lives in London and had come specially to  grace the occasion.

For more information please visit the Medway Ghanaian Association website

The Mosque © AMAUK

The Nasir Mosque, Gillingham © AMAUK

The Lord-Lieutenant and Lady De L’Isle were delighted to be asked to the celebrations surrounding the Inauguration of the Nasir Mosque in Gillingham on 1st March 2014. His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad the Fifth Khalifatul Masih of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, unveiled a plaque, then offered a silent prayer.

The Lord-Lieutenant and Lady De L’Isle were received in a private audience, with His Holiness, which included a number of  important people from Kent and Medway.

Seated Left to right: His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih V; The Lord-Lieutenant; Lady De L’Isle;  Assistant Chief Constable Kent Police, Mr Rob Price;  Brigadier D W Southall; Rehman Chisti MP; Lt Col C Warhurst , 1st Commanding Officer RSME;  Cllr David Carr, Medway; Paul Clark, MP for Gillingham (1997-2010). © AMAUKS

Seated left to right: His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih V; The Lord-Lieutenant; Lady De L’Isle; Assistant Chief Constable Kent Police, Mr Rob Price; Brigadier D W Southall, Commandant RSME; Rehman Chisti MP; Lt Col C Warhurst, 1st Commanding Officer RSME; Cllr David Carr, Medway; Paul Clark, MP for Gillingham (1997-2010). © AMAUK

Following which, a reception was held for more than 180 guests which was addressed by The Lord-Lieutenant who said “The Muslim faith is alive and well and flourishing in Kent, and your motto of “Love for all, Hatred for none” is one we should all aspire to. I am certain that this Mosque will stand the test of time and come to serve many generations.”

His Holiness gave a keynote address “This Mosque being inaugurated today, will be filled by those people who will not only fulfil the rights of God, but those who hold a passionate desire to serve humanity…….”

The original hall was opened in 1975 but the Muslim community had a desire for a purpose built Mosque and work started on the same site in 2012. The splendid new building will accommodate about 280 worshippers.

Unconquered: The Story of Kent and its Lieutenancy Book

Book cover of Unconquered: The Story of Kent and its Lieutenancy 

The first-ever in-depth story of a county lieutenancy from Tudor times to the present day is close to publication. Unconquered: The Story of Kent and its Lieutenancy, is a sumptuously illustrated book about the county, its Lieutenants and their Deputies down the ages. Lord-Lieutenants represent the Monarch in a key role dating back nearly 500 years, linking the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II.

Author David McDine, a recently retired Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, has written the 276-page book after years of painstaking research. He has uncovered a multitude of colourful and exciting stories about a fascinating cast of characters, many of them military leaders responsible for trained bands and militias defending the Garden of England from invasion.

The book is published by The Allan Willett Foundation and printed by Headley Brothers, a long-established family business in Ashford.

The Allan Willett Foundation, founded by Allan Willett, the former Lord-Lieutenant of Kent,  was established to help charitable work across the county, and  any profit from the sale of the book will go to mainly Kentish and medical causes.

The Lord Lieutenant to start the presses rolling

The Lord-Lieutenant pushing the button to start the presses rolling

The Lord-Lieutenant and Viscountess De L’Isle visited the Headley Brothers printers on Monday 10th February, 2104, to see the first pages of the book off the press.

Lord De L’Isle who pushed the button to start the press rolling said: “I am very excited that Kent is the first county in the United Kingdom to produce an in-depth history of the Lieutenancy. I was delighted to visit Headley Brothers and celebrate the company’s great achievements over more than 130 years.

Roger Pitt, Managing Director, said:  “As a long-standing member of the Kent business community, Headley Brothers has been delighted to provide its services for the production and distribution of Unconquered, The Story of Kent and its Lieutenancy,  an exceptional publication that celebrates our unique county by chronicling the rich history of Kent’s Lieutenancy.”

The Lord Lieutenant, Roger Pitt -  Headley Brother's Managing Director and David McDine, the author examining the first pages of the press

The Lord-Lieutenant, Roger Pitt – Headley Brothers Managing Director – and David McDine, the author, examining the first pages off the press

“We were honoured to welcome the Lord-Lieutenant and his wife, and all our staff were delighted to see them. I believe it is the first visit in our 133 year history that a Lord-Lieutenant has visited the firm.”

“We are thrilled to be working with the book’s author and feel it only fitting that a book celebrating the fascinating and colourful history of Kent’s Lieutenancy is produced for the people of Kent, by the people of Kent.”

Unconquered: The Story of Kent and its Lieutenancy will be published on 8th April 2014.  Copies of the standard edition are priced at £35, five or more copies will cost £30 each, and a luxury slip-cased version is available for an extra £10 a copy. Anyone who would like further details or to pre-order a copy should email

Prince Andrew with Geraldine Allinson, Chairman of the KM Group

Prince Andrew with Geraldine Allinson, Chairman of the KM Group (c) Kent Messenger Group.

His Royal Highness the Duke of York has encouraged businesses to take on an apprentice during a visit to Kent. Prince Andrew, a strong supporter of vocational training, spent several hours in the County on February 5 for two special occasions. He first attended a military commemoration in Hythe before travelling to Maidstone Museum to meet young people, company chiefs and local dignitaries, including Cllr Eric Hotson, the chairman of Kent County Council, and Cllr Clive English the Mayor of Maidstone.

Chris Dembrey, apprentice with Logic Project Management, talking with the Prince.

Chris Dembrey, apprentice with Logic Project Management, talking with The Prince. (c) Kent Messenger Group.

The event was hosted by the KM Group, the county’s long-established multi-media business, as part of its Kick Start Kent campaign to persuade 50 employers to take on an apprentice within a year. The campaign is run in partnership with training provider IPS International and the Kent Association of Training Organisations. Viscount De L’Isle, the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent  who is The Queen’s personal representative in the County, welcomed the Duke of York to the lively event in Maidstone Museum.  He has made the employability of young people a key feature of his Lieutenancy. Lord De L’Isle said: “Young people face a tough time finding worthwhile work and apprenticeships are an important way of giving them a good start to their career. They also offer huge benefits to the business in terms of fresh ideas and new skills. I applaud the KMG campaign and am delighted that HRH the Duke of York was able to find time in his busy schedule to lend his support. I very much hope employers will share his enthusiasm for apprenticeships and see the many merits of hiring a young person for their business. I will shortly be taking on an apprentice gardener at my home Penshurst Place.”

The Duke of York attended a business lunch in the museum before joining guests at a reception during which he heard two presentations. Chris Dembrey, 19, an apprentice with Logic Project Management in Maidstone, spoke about his experience, while Geraldine Allinson, KMG chairman, told Prince Andrew and guests of the value and many benefits from taking on an editorial apprentice. Before leaving, the Duke of York commended the campaign and wished it every success.

He had earlier marked the 160th anniversary of the Small Arms School Corps in Hythe by unveiling a commemorative plaque. Major Dennis Bradley BEM welcomed the Duke in his capacity as a Deputy Lieutenant representing Lord De L’Isle. Prince Andrew, who was invited to unveil the plaque by Lt Col John Whitchurch, the Commanding Officer of the Small Arms School Corps, based in Warminster, met serving and retired members of the school at the Hythe Bowls Club. Major Bradley said: “The visit was very relaxed with His Royal Highness conversing with both dignitaries and solders alike. He wanted to talk to people on a wide range of subjects, from the period of the appointment of Mayors of Hythe, to the saving of some of the Shorncliffe Barracks complex, and the career prospects for soldiers.” The plaque was later attached to the memorial which is dedicated to all those who served in the Small Arms School Corps.

Two new Deputy Lieutenants of Kent have been appointed, each of them honoured for their positive contributions to the County and the Nation.
They are Mrs Valerie Hale JP of Ash, near Canterbury and Lord Sackville of Knole in Sevenoaks.

Valerie Hale DL

Jalerie Hale JP DL

Mrs Valerie Hale has lived in Kent for over 50 years. She is a teacher by qualification, has been a school Governor and ran her own small business for 20 years. Previously she has been a Deputy Chairman of the East Kent Bench and a Non-Executive with the Kent and Medway Partnership Trust. Currently she is a Lay Representative with NHS Health Education, London and NHS HE Kent, Surrey and Sussex and is closely involved in voluntary work and supporting local charities.

After studying History at Oxford University and business at the London Business School, Robert Sackville-West (Lord Sackville) worked in publishing, in 1985 founding Toucan Books, which creates illustrated non-fiction books for an international market. He now combines that with chairing Knole Estates, the property and investment company which, in parallel with the National Trust, runs the Sackville family’s interests at Knole. Among other voluntary roles, Lord Sackville has a long-standing interest in education. Until 2008, he was Chairman of the governing body at Sevenoaks School, and is currently a governor (and chair of the Finance and Premises Committee) at the Knole Academy in Sevenoaks; he is also a director of the UK board of the International Baccalaureate Organization. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Inheritance: The Story of Knole and the Sackvilles (2010).

Lord Sackville DL

Lord Sackville DL

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE said: “We welcome both these new Deputy Lieutenants whose experience will further reinforce the effectiveness and diversity of the Lieutenancy and will ensure we continue to move forward”.

“They will be joining an outstanding network of men and women whose role it is to support the Monarchy and celebrate Kent, its unique history and culture, serve its communities – and contribute positively to its future.”

He further added: “These appointments are important because the Lieutenancy plays a major role as an effective independent force for good in Kent. As the Monarchy does nationally, our aim is to provide a focus for County identity, unity and pride, give a sense of stability, recognise achievements, success and excellence, and promote service to others.”

Fact File

• The Lieutenancy of Kent consists of the Lord-Lieutenant, Vice Lord- Lieutenant, and a maximum of 70 other Deputy Lieutenants, approximately one per 25,000 people.

• The office dates back to Tudor times and was originally responsible for the County’s local defence and maintenance of order. The role of the Lieutenancy is entirely non-political and unpaid.

• Deputy Lieutenants come from all walks of life and all parts of the County. Their local and specialist knowledge and experience is used to positive effect in key areas ranging from education to youth services, and from the Volunteer Reserve Forces to business and the rural economy.

• Duties include greeting and accompanying Royalty and Heads of State during official visits to the County, the presentation of honours and awards on behalf of the Crown, and participation in Citizenship ceremonies.

• They advise on events potentially warranting Royal visits, on how local people can put forward others suitable for honours and on anniversaries warranting a message from The Queen. They also advise on how community organisations can gain recognition in The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Scheme.

The Lord Lieutenant would like to congratulate all those who have received honours in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2014.


Knights Batchelor (Kt)

Order of the Bath

Companion (CB)

Order of St Michael and St George

Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG)

Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Commander (CBE)

Officer (OBE)

Member (MBE)

Medallist (BEM)