RAF Halton has remembered the fallen across Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire this year.
Representatives from RAF Halton attended five ceremonies across Buckinghamshire in addition to turning out in force with over 100 personnel in Hemel Hempstead.
In a joint affair, RAF Halton exercised its right to the Freedom of Entry to the Borough of Dacorum by parading through the streets of Hemel Hempstead before joining the rest of the Royal British Legion parade to commemorate Remembrance Sunday. Combining both parades demonstrates the very real link between current Operations and remembering those that have lost their lives on Operations.
On Parade was Senior Aircraftsman Jo Haywood, who recently received the Operational Service Medal for her deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. An administrative clerk at RAF Halton, Jo said: “I enjoyed my detachment to Afghanistan – it was an experience I will never forget. I met some very inspirational people during my time there and as a result of my detachment I learnt that I am able to cope in a very stressful environment. There is a great amount of stress placed on you physically and mentally but you find ways to cope with it.”
In terms of Remembrance she added: “I think it is important to remember that I am lucky enough to have received my medal in person as there are many from past wars as well as present day wars that never got that opportunity.”
RAF Halton’s Station Commander, Group Captain Chris Elliot, awarded Jo the medal and was on parade in Hemel Hempstead alongside the Mayor of Dacorum. She said: “It is an honour and privilege to be able to exercise the Freedom of Dacorum. The Parade is a visible demonstration of the trust, friendship, and community links between RAF Halton and the Borough of Dacorum and the event is even more significant as it coincides with Remembrance Day. We look forward to our relationship with the Borough continuing.”
The Mayor of Dacorum, Councillor Gillian Chapman said:”Dacorum is very proud to invite RAF Halton to exercise their Freedom and to parade the Queen’s colour. We are showing our pride and gratitude to the men and women of the RAF of today in their various roles, both at war and at peace, as the parade joins the parade for Remembrance Day. We honour those that have gone before them who fought and died for their country, for us.”