A MESSAGE FROM COLONEL TOM BONAS
REGIMENTAL ADJUTANT AND PRESIDENT OF THE WELSH GUARDS ASSOCIATION
It is difficult to put into words the Regimental events commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War during this month of June but if there was ever a truism, pictures paint a thousand words and the ones that have been posted here I think say it all. In addition, Neil Rice, the Assistant Secretary General of the Welsh Guards Association has captured the Ride of Respect and Wrexham Reunion magnificently in pictures and they can all be viewed at his galleries here. We are indebted to Neil for all he and Maldwyn do for our Association.
But words are important and I must pay tribute to the many who have organised Regimental F40 events this month. From the service expertly organised by Paul Cunliffe MBE at HM Tower of London, the Liberation Day service in St Mary's Church, Swansea, the "Rock" in Cardiff and the many more local Falklands 40th Commemorative events held throughout the Principality, I believe we have all been touched regardless of which event we have been involved in.
Amongst them the “Walk of Respect” in Anglesey, some 11 legs over 11 days over a distance of 133 miles organised by Captain Jan Koops and Keith Lewis (80) was very special and meant so much to those involved. The same applied to the “Ride of Respect “, a huge commemorative Welsh Guards bikers journey meticulously organised and led by Geraint and Jan Hughes starting in Windsor, passing through Ross-on-Wye onto Cardiff and then Aberystwyth and then moving through North Wales to Wrexham. A remarkable and very moving bike journey covering over 650 miles in just 4 days and along the way laying so many wreaths to those that had fallen in 82. Truly heart wrenching and one that reached out to communities, the families of our fallen and our veterans. Both never to be forgotten.
Our last F40 Regimental event was in Wrexham on 25 June and what a turn out from Falklands veterans and their families and the wider community including the Lord Lieutenant, the Mayor and Mayoress and the Wrexham local MP. A very moving Service held in St Giles' Parish Church followed by a march to the Welsh Guards Falklands Memorial at Bodhyfryd which included the Regimental Band, a Guard from the Battalion, a large Veterans Cohort and a great turnout from our Welsh Guards cadets from the Wrexham area. Among the hundreds attending many a story exchanged in the Reception held afterwards and a few bear hugs and tears in the mix. As always this wonderful family gathering would not have happened without the dedication and enthusiasm of Captain Chris Hopkins and his wife, Anne who we cannot thank enough again.
Whilst so many of us would in any case want to be involved in these events can I thank you all for being there demonstrating yet again what it means to be a Welsh Guardsmen and a member of our great Regiment.
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