We owe a great debt of gratitude to armed forces personnel past and present who put their lives at risk to keep us safe. This Remembrance Sunday, I hope to lay a wreath in Cinderford to honour those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country.
Each year, poppy sales provide an opportunity to support the excellent work of the Royal British Legion. The Poppy Appeal and programmes that it funds go a long way in helping veterans and their families in the UK. This can be anything from financial advice and employment support, to providing care to older veterans and supporting independent living.
I know that the pandemic has presented new and complex challenges for us all to deal with, but it remains as important as ever to pay tribute to our armed forces.
This is because the army continues to play its part in this pandemic by offering service personnel to help to manage and offload supplies in busy NHS settings, as well as helping to distribute and deliver PPE supplies to other care settings. Earlier in the year, it was a pleasure to meet those soldiers from the Royal Welsh who were doing a fantastic job running Gloucester’s drive-in Covid testing centre.
Over the summer, it was also a privilege to visit Beachley Barracks again, home to 1st Battalion The Rifles. I met with the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Shercliff and members of his senior leadership team.
We spoke in detail about the support they have provided during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, including working with Welsh ambulance crews during the first national lockdown, building more beds for hospitals and assisting at local testing sites. I am very grateful to them for all of their help in enabling our NHS and communities to keep going.
I hope that everyone will join me in giving thanks to the members of our brave armed forces past and present and remember those who have given their lives for our country. “At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.”