RAFA Headcorn Service at Chart Sutton
On the 25 March we accepted an invitation from RAFA Headcorn Branch Committee to attend the Laying Up of their Old Standard and Dedication of their New Standard. It was a sunny day, unlike recent weeks in the Weald of Kent and the Branch had expected two or three supporting RAFA Standards. These didn’t materialise and hence Jacqui Giles, carrying the No 1 Group Standard was the only supporting Standard Bearer present. It was the first ceremonial event of the year for the No 1 Group ROC Association Standard
It was good to meet the dignitaries who both knew about the Royal Observer Corps, I was delighted to meet Air Commodore Simon Harper OBE MA FCIPD as he will be taking up the post of Director of Grants, Services and Programmes at the RAFBF when he retires in a few months’ time. The Mayor of Maidstone, commented that when he worked for GPO Telephones he had to visit the ROC Posts ahead of exercises to check the telecoms links.
The fact that we were only about ten miles from Cranbrook was a useful conversation opener to the history of the Observer/Royal Observer Corps. Especially as this year will see the centenary of the trials the led to the formation of the Corps that had been centred on the telephone exchange located above the Post Office in Cranbrook.
Air Cdre Harper as you would expect from a Senior Officer, was relaxed talking to all those present. The Vicar mentioned the ROC in her address, but I must brief her as she referred to Fiery Fred as a Cromwellian soldier!
A good day out to meet friends in the sunshine and warm hospitality to support an important RAFA event