REPORT ON CORPS SUNDAY SERVICE, MARCH PAST AND LUNCHEON – SUNDAY 19 JUNE 2016
By Captain (Retired) Chris Richards, Association National Secretary
Out of bed at 5.30 and on the road from South Wales to Aldershot. The thought “What am I doing at this time on a Sunday morning?” never crossed my mind! I was on my way to join other members of the RAMC Association, old comrades and regular officers and soldiers of the RAMC to celebrate the 117th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1898.
The day was dry and bright as I arrived at the Royal Garrison Church of All Saints in Aldershot. Lots of people were already gathered outside. Old friends meeting up, some catching up on old times from many years past. Then, as the local congregation left after the earlier service we all entered the church for our Corps Sunday Service. The Service was conducted by the Revd John Harvey OCM and the preacher was the bishop of Guildford. The AMS(V) Band shared “the stage” with the organist. During the Service the new Standard for Grimsby Branch RAMC Association was dedicated by the chaplain.
Directly after the Service the parade formed up under the command of Lt Col S Hall RAMC in the following order: AMS(V) Band, Representative Units, RAMC Association Standards, RAMC Chelsea Pensioners, RAMC Association members and Old Comrades.
The parade stepped off and marched past the saluting dais a short distance away on Claycart Road. The Salute was taken by Brig P Fabricius Representative Colonel Commandant RAMC. There were 10 Association Standards on parade and 15 Association members and old comrades marched past. Well done to them!
Everyone then moved off in various forms of transport, including on foot, to Princes Hall for the RAMC Reunion Lunch. The lunch followed the usual format of a hot buffet (2 choices of curry) or various salads and a choice of desserts followed by coffee or tea. The bar was open for anyone who wanted it. The hall was filled to overflowing with members of the Association and old comrades and all the regular officers and soldiers from the parade. Judging by the noise lots of catching up on old times was continuing! The AMS(V) Band also played and was very much appreciated.
And so at about 2.30 pm the crowd was thinning and it was time to make say farewell and head out west along the M4 back to Wales. A long day but well worth the effort as they say. If you’ve never been before or if you haven’t been for a long time, I commend the day to you. Try and get there next year. Come along as a Branch. Financial assistance is available to Branches – contact the Secretary.
Lastly and by no means least a big thank you to Maj (Retd) Marie Ellis Regimental Secretary RAMC, WO1 Martyn Brabin AMS Command Sergeant Major and the RHQ team for the huge effort that it takes to organise such an event.