THE LIEUTENANCY OF KENT ARMS

The Lord-Lieutenant would like to congratulate all those who have received honours in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours.

Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Commander (CBE)

Officer (OBE)

Member (MBE)

Medallist (BEM)

HRH Prince Michael pictured by the new Lord Dowding bust memorial. (c) Barry Duffield DL.

HRH Prince Michael pictured by the new Lord Dowding bust memorial. (c) Barry Duffield DL.

Tributes were paid to one of the country’s most visionary leaders during the Battle of Britain, Lord Dowding,  at a statue unveiling ceremony attended by HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO at the National Memorial to the Few at Capel-le-Ferne, on 31st May.  A bust of Lord Dowding, who, as Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, led RAF Fighter Command throughout the battle in 1940, was commissioned by the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust and carved by sculptor Will Davies, and Prince Michael of Kent unveiled the bust at the ceremony.

From left to right: The Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L'Isle MBE; Trust Chairman, Richard Hunting CBE; Wing Commander Paul Farnes DFM, one of the Few. (c) Barry Duffield DL.

From left to right: The Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle MBE; Trust Chairman, Richard Hunting CBE; Wing Commander Paul Farnes DFM, one of The Few. (c) Barry Duffield DL.

Lord Dowding, in his role as Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding,  played a huge part in the RAF’s victory over the Luftwaffe. He had put in place the air defence system which made effective use of radio direction finding – the forerunner of radar – and revolutionised the country’s defences.

HRH Prince Michael pictured with trustees, staff and volunteer helpers, by the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall.(c) Barry Duffield DL.

HRH Prince Michael pictured with staff and volunteer helpers, by the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall.(c) Barry Duffield DL.

Prince Michael, who was escorted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE, is patron of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.  Also in attendance was Wing Commander Paul Farnes DFM, one of The Few. Prince Michael met members of the trust, along with staff, volunteers and some donors.

Left to right: Major (Ret'd) Jules Gomez, Site Manager, with Janet Tootal BEM, presenting a mahogany model of a Hurricane to HRH Prince Michael, Patron of the Trust, following the unveiling ceremony. (c) Barry Duffield DL.

Left to right: Major (Ret’d) Jules Gomez, Site Manager, with Janet Tootal BEM, presenting a mahogany model of a Hurricane to HRH Prince Michael, Patron of the Trust, following the unveiling ceremony. (c) Barry Duffield DL.

Lord Dowding died in 1970 at his home in Tunbridge Wells and his ashes were buried in the RAF Chapel,Westminster Abbey, where members of The Few have traditionally paid tribute to him every September. Lord Trenchard (Marshal of the RAF) and Lord Dowding together headed a committee to raise funds for the furnishing of the RAF chapel and for a stained glass Battle of Britain Memorial Window to be installed there in 1947.

 

 

 

 

 

New memorial tablet unveiled to mark 100th anniversary of the bombing of Folkestone - the first ever air raid from aeroplanes on Britain. Descendants gathered at The Garden of Remembrance in Sandgate Road, Folkestone. (c) Hattie Miles.

New memorial tablet unveiled to mark 100th anniversary of the bombing of Folkestone – the first ever air raid from aeroplanes on Britain. Descendants gathered at The Garden of Remembrance in Sandgate Road, Folkestone. (c) Hattie Miles.

The Lord-Lieutenant was represented by Mrs Ros McCarthy DL at a commemorative service which took place in Folkestone’s Methodist Church on 25th May 2017, to remember those who suffered or were killed in the German air raid on Folkestone and its neighbourhood, one hundred years ago on 25th May 1917 – the first air raid of its kind.  The event had been organised by descendants of the civilians who were killed indiscriminately by a single bomb as they were queuing for groceries in Tontine Street, at exactly 6.22 pm on that day – the time that a nearby clock stopped.   There were 61 deaths (including children) from this bomb alone.   At the service a minute’s silence was observed, not only for these victims, but also to honour the victims of the recent Manchester bombing which, ironically, had taken place earlier in the same week.

The packed Methodist Church just before the service began. (c) Hattie Miles.

The packed Methodist Church just before the service began. (c)Hattie Miles.

At the service the names of all those killed were read out, some by their direct descendants, and afterwards a plaque was unveiled and wreaths laid in the memorial gardens opposite the church by representatives of the families and of the fire service which supported them on that terrible day one hundred years ago.

Attendees round the clock showing the time of the unveiling - 6:22pm - exactly 100 years to the minute that the last and most devastating bomb fell on Tontine Street, causing the death of 63 of the 81 civilians killed in the Raid. (c)Hattie Miles.

Attendees round the clock showing the time of the unveiling – 6:22pm – exactly 100 years to the minute that the last and most devastating bomb fell on Tontine Street, causing the death of 63 of the 81 civilians killed in the Raid. (c)Hattie Miles.

The Tontine Street bombing of 1917 was the single greatest tragedy ever to have befallen Folkestone, and the significance of this event has been marked in a small way by individual members of the families involved each year since it happened, but, on the one hundredth anniversary, it was fitting that they should all come together, with members of the local community, to pay tribute to those who died.

Laying of flowers and wreaths after the service in the Memorial Garden. Margaret Care, main event organiser, pictured right.(c) Jean Reed.

Laying of flowers and wreaths after the service in the Memorial Garden. Margaret Care, main event organiser, pictured right.  (c)Jean Reed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Countess of Wessex receiving two thank you cards made by residents to celebrate her visit, pictured here with Antonia, Ray and Hope. (c) 2017 David Bartholemew.

The Countess of Wessex receiving two thank you cards made by residents to celebrate her visit, pictured here with Antonia, Ray and Hope. (c) 2017 David Bartholemew.

Crossways Community

The Countess of Wessex visited Crossways Community in Tunbridge Wells, on 19th April, to unveil a plaque commemorating her visit, and 50 years since the charity’s work in the field of mental health began. The Chief Executive of Crossways, Chris Munday, escorted the Countess around Culverdale House – where residents who require supported accommodation but not round the clock care are looked after – before crossing the road to Moxham House, the charity’s 24/7 care home. She then visited the adjacent facilities, Crossways Community Enterprises, where residents use their practical skills to sell donated items and upcycle furniture.

The Countess of Wessex with Crossways Community Managers celebrating the plaque unveiling recognising 50 years since the charity began. Left to right: Steve Howcroft, Chris Munday, The Countess of Wessex, Penny Rist and Ginny Swaffer. (c) 2017 David Bartholemew.

The Countess of Wessex with Crossways Community Managers celebrating the plaque unveiling recognising 50 years since the charity began. Left to right: Steve Howcroft, Chris Munday, The Countess of Wessex, Penny Rist and Ginny Swaffer. (c) 2017 David Bartholemew.

The Countess enjoyed interacting with staff and residents and joined the tea and cake party in the gardens, where she was presented with two cards made by the residents thanking her for the visit. Unveiling the commemorative plaque in the Crossways gardens, Her Royal Highness said: “It is a great pleasure to have visited you all today. I enjoyed hearing your stories and very much appreciated your openness. I’m so glad that you have found your way here, a place of real community where you can step forward and make progress in your individual ways.”

Medway Maritime Hospital

The Countess of Wessex went on to visit Medway Maritime Hospital and Abigail’s Footsteps, a specialist Maternity Bereavement Suite. David and Jo Ward founded Abigail’s Footsteps in memory of their little girl and were thanked by the Countess of Wessex for their valuable charity work. HRH unveiled a plaque to commemorate her visit to the Suite which was praised in Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s latest Care Quality Commission report as “the gold standard in the provision of care for parents and families who experience a stillbirth.”Mr Ward said: “We are delighted and honoured that HRH the Countess of Wessex has visited Abigail’s Place.
“This is our first purpose-built bereavement suite where parents can spend precious time with their stillborn baby away from the cries of new-borns.
“It is now the template for maternity units across the country and we are already working with other trusts to help them to achieve the same high standards.”
Abigail’s Footsteps continues to campaign and fundraise nationally to help other NHS hospitals secure Maternity Bereavement Suites.

The Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle, held an investiture at Penshurst Place for the three British Empire Medal recipients nominated in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2017 New Year Honours List.

The short citations were read by Mrs Georgie Warner DL, before the Lord-Lieutenant assisted by decorating each recipient, on HM The Queen’s behalf. The recipients were accompanied by their families and friends. The Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet, Able Cadet Laura Potts from the Dover and Deal Sea Cadet Corps, assisted the Lord-Lieutenant. In presenting the medals on behalf of The Queen, Lord-Lieutenant congratulated the recipients for their dedicated work on behalf of others.

 

 

 

The Abbeyfield Kent Society’s former Chairman, Bobby Barnes, and The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L'Isle, unveil the plaque to celebrate the Care Home official opening. (c) The Abbeyfield Kent Society.

The Abbeyfield Kent Society’s former Chairman, Bobby Barnes, and The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle, unveil the plaque to celebrate the Care Home official opening. (c) The Abbeyfield Kent Society.

Together with The Abbeyfield Kent Society’s former Chairman, Bobby Barnes, after whom Barnes Lodge is named, The Lord-Lieutenant officially declared the flagship care home open on 31st March. Guests gathered at Barnes Lodge to toast the grand opening of the new Tonbridge care home, which recently opened its doors in Tudeley Lane. The Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Mark Rhodes and the Society’s Chairman, Zach Miles were also in attendance, along with Trustees and other friends of the organisation.

Lord De L’Isle spoke of the need for high quality housing for older people, and in the speech he delivered said:  “I pay tribute to Abbeyfield Kent which has its 50th anniversary in May, having grown from a single terraced home in Gillingham, to the biggest Abbeyfield Society in the world, and it is continually evolving to provide ever higher standards.”

Bobby Barnes shared his delight at Barnes Lodge being named after his significant contribution to the Society for more than 17 years. In his speech, Bobby said: “I am incredibly proud to have been given the very singular honour of having this building named for me. I say this because it represents all that is good about The Abbeyfield Kent Society in terms of its purpose, scale and even the fact that it is the first project built for us and to our specification but owned by others, Target Advisors, who have faith in us and in the Society’s future”.
Following the speeches and unveiling of a commemorative  plaque, guests were invited to take a tour of the building and view a number of the modern and homely bedrooms.
Barnes Lodge provides high quality care for older people with a variety of care and support needs. The beautiful new home features 101 spacious and well decorated bedrooms, all with en suite wet rooms, alongside an excellent range of communal facilities, including a library, hair salon, coffee shop and gardens.

 

Left to right: Canon Chris Stone; Kathrin Smallwood; Chief Kenneth Adams; Chief Anne Richardson; The Bishop of Rochester, James Langstaff; and Chief Steve Adkins. (c) Roger Vaughan www.kentpixs.co.uk

Left to right: Canon Chris Stone; Kathrin Smallwood; Chief Kenneth Adams; The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle; Chief Anne Richardson; The Bishop of Rochester, James Langstaff; and Chief Steve Adkins. (c) Roger Vaughan www.kentpixs.co.uk

On 21st March 2017 Gravesham Borough Council held a Service in St George’s Church, Gravesend, to commemorate the death in 1617 of the native American princess Pocahontas, then aged 22 years of age, who died either on shore or aboard the ship George, which she, her son and husband, John Rolfe, had taken for a passage back to Virginia. Sadly Pocahontas had succumbed to an illness and died. Pocahontas’s remains were brought ashore and buried in the Chancel of the old St George’s Church which burned down in 1727, together with much of Gravesend.
Pocahontas was the daughter of Chief Powhatan. It is said she saved the life of Captain John Smith, who had been captured by the Native Americans near their Settlement at Jamestown. Pocahontas was herself taken hostage in 1613 and chose to live with the colonial settlers. She converted to Christianity and was baptised as Rebecca. She travelled to London with her husband and son in 1616. Pocahontas was presented to English society as an example of the “civilized savage” in the hopes of stimulating investment in the Jamestown settlement. She became something of a celebrity, was elegantly fêted, and attended a masque at Whitehall Palace in 1617, meeting King James I and Queen Anne. Pocahontas then became homesick and wished to return to Jamestown.
In 2005 Kent County Council and the Commonwealth of Virginia entered into a series of Memorandum of Understanding bringing both parties together before the 400th Anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown Settlement.  When The Queen visited Virginia in 2007, a group of Virginia Indian Chiefs met her on the steps of the Capitol in Richmond, Virginia, who were also present on 21st March 2017 at St George’s for the Service. The Statue of Pocahontas is a copy of the one on Jamestown Island and was presented to Gravesend by Governor Battle in 1927.

 

 

Rochester Cathedral congregation at the 2017 Lord-Lieutenant's Civic Service (c) Robert Berry

Rochester Cathedral congregation at the 2017 Lord-Lieutenant’s Civic Service (c) Robert Berry


The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent is calling for more volunteers amid concerns that the volunteering spirit may not be as strong as it used to be.
Viscount De L’Isle has told a congregation of more than 550 in Rochester Cathedral that “the philosophy and motivation behind volunteering appears to have lessened in recent times.”
Left to right: The Dean of Rochester Cathedral, The Very Reverend Dr Philip Hesketh; The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, The Viscount De L'Isle; Viscountess De L'Isle; Able Cadet Laura Potts, from Dover and Deal Unit Sea Cadet Corps. (c) Robert Berry.

Left to right: The Dean of Rochester Cathedral, The Very Reverend Dr Philip Hesketh; The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, The Viscount De L’Isle; Viscountess De L’Isle; Able Cadet Laura Potts, from Dover and Deal Unit Sea Cadet Corps. (c) Robert Berry.


Speaking at the annual Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration for Public Service to Kent, attended by council leaders, school governors, magistrates, representatives from the armed forces, police, emergency and prison services, Queen’s Award winners, voluntary organisations, and Deputy Lieutenants, Lord De L’Isle paid tribute to the huge contribution made every day by so many people across the county.
“On behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, I thank you all for what you are doing for Kent’s communities. You are doing Kent proud. You are all standard bearers who lead the way to those who have lost the commitment to play a part and to volunteer to help our communities, as many have done in previous generations.
“You are doing a great job but we need to encourage more people to join you. The larger our numbers the less the burden, and more good works can be achieved.
Prayers were led by 3 representatives of the Voluntary Sectors: Ms Angeline Dispinseri, Parent Governor, St Margaret's Troy Town Church of England Primary School; Stephen Gray, CEO of Young Lives Foundation; Ms Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive of Kent Community Foundation. (c) Robert Berry.

Prayers were led by 3 representatives of the Voluntary Sectors: Ms Angeline Dispinseri, Parent Governor, St Margaret’s Troy Town Church of England Primary School; Stephen Gray, CEO of Young Lives Foundation; Ms Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive of Kent Community Foundation. (c) Robert Berry.


As the Queen’s representative in the county, Lord De L’Isle recalled Her Majesty’s Christmas broadcast in which she singled out for special praise “ordinary” people like volunteers and carers who do “extraordinary” things.
“On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine,” Lord De L’Isle said.
The newly refurbished Crypt at Rochester Cathedral housing the recently installed Textus Roffensis Exhibition. (c) Robert Berry.

The newly refurbished Crypt at Rochester Cathedral housing the recently installed Textus Roffensis Exhibition. (c) Robert Berry.


He praised volunteers in the Armed Forces and the Reserves, “often putting themselves in danger in the face of The Queen’s enemies” and “our emergency services who work year round saving lives.”
He commended the KM Charity Team for raising money for good causes. “I recently attended the KM Charity Team Awards ceremony at which 55 awards were given to thank those who had contributed both in cash and kind.”
There was praise also for Kent Community Foundation, which supported the Civic Service, for raising money for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme that encourages young people to develop self-confidence by undertaking challenges like
orienteering and expeditions. Kent now has the largest number of Gold Standard Award winners in the UK.
Lord De L’Isle said that was due to the scheme’s dedicated volunteers. But more were needed. “Kent youth organisations are desperate for more adult instructors and we all need to encourage people to take up this type of volunteering.” It was important to help “the next generation to realise their dreams.”
The 400 volunteers at Rochester Cathedral were a “ringing endorsement of the ethos of assisting the community,” he added.
Kent businesses and their staff also demonstrated corporate responsibility by raising funds for charity.
Lord De L”Isle said that voluntary organisations across Kent deserved more recognition, and he would welcome more nominations for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS).
The annual Civic Service celebrates public service and volunteering across the county. It is held every year, alternating between Canterbury and Rochester Cathedrals, and All Saints, Maidstone.
Nominations for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) in 2018 can be made online at https://qavs.direct.gov.uk by September 15, 2017.
Kent Community Foundation, which supported the service, manages charitable funds for donors. www.kentcf.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viscount De L’Isle, Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, talking to Stuart Smith, Vice Chairman of Trustees, and Simon Dolby Chief Executive. (c)Martin Apps

Viscount De L’Isle, Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, talking to Stuart Smith, Vice Chairman of Trustees, and Simon Dolby Chief Executive. (c)Martin Apps

KM Charity Team Partnership Awards 2017 were held at Rowhill Grange Hotel, Wilmington, on 1st March, to recognise the support given to the Charity Team by eighty of their many sponsors and partners to thank them for their backing.  Over 50 certificates and awards were handed out by The Chief Executive, Simon Dolby, assisted by Karen Brinkman of KM’s Walk to School.

The Lord-Lieutenant, centre, with the award winners after the Ceremony. (c) Martin Apps

The Lord-Lieutenant, centre, with the award winners after the Ceremony. (c) Martin Apps

In opening the event the Lord-Lieutenant said “By bringing private, public and voluntary sectors together you are making extraordinary things happen. In these days of economic uncertainty we all need to strive to deliver projects that are achieving great outcomes for Kent.”
KM Charity Partnership runs a number of events and quizzes to raise funds for a wide variety of projects in the educational field including the “Walking Bus”, Teacher of the Year and a Literacy programme.

Viscount De L’Isle, Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, presents Jason Raggatt of Barclays Bank with a special award, having headed the Bank’s involvement in numerous events. (c) Martin Apps

Viscount De L’Isle, Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, presents Jason Raggatt of Barclays Bank with a special award, having headed the Bank’s involvement in numerous events. (c) Martin Apps

Many of the staff of sponsoring firms help with or join in the events to boost the funds raised. At the conclusion of the award ceremony the Lord-Lieutenant said “I hope all those who received awards this afternoon will be proud to show others your achievements in a wide range of disciplines. In many cases you are demonstrating “Best Practice”. Where this is happening you are leading the way not only in Kent but the whole nation”.
“Thank you, keep up the good work, you are doing a great job. Let’s face it success breeds success and you are leaders of the pack. Be proud of it.”

 

 

The award winners at the SECAmb East awards ceremony. Picture by Cripps Photography. SUS-170228-122002001
The award winners at the SECAmb East awards ceremony. (c) Cripps Photography
SECAmb staff were joined by volunteers and members of the public at the first of the Trust’s annual award ceremonies.

The event saw staff recognised for long service and Chief Executive’s Commendations awarded across a range of categories including clinical excellence, patient care and leadership.

  Deputy Lieutenant Bill Cockcroft attended, representing the Lord-Lieutenant, to present Queen’s Medals for Long Service and Good Conduct, while Trust staff were also recognised for 20 years’ and 30 and 40 years’ NHS service.

SECAmb acting chief executive Geraint Davies said, “These awards show the amazing work which is going on day in day out at SECAmb.
“It was an honour to present the commendations and the long service awards are always very humbling.  I am immensely proud of the dedication, clinical skill and patient care shown by all our staff and volunteers.”