Friday, May 24, 2024

Thurrock remembers on Armed Forces Day

THURROCK Council marked the start of Armed Forces Week with their annual flag raising ceremony in Grays this morning (Monday 24 June).

The service was held in front of the Civic Offices, attended by The Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Tony Fish, Cllr John Kent, Reverend Darren Barlow and MP Jackie-Doyle-Price who raised the flag. Jackie Doyle-Price also introduced surviving members of the Bomber Command team of the Royal Air Force who have now been awarded medals for their outstanding courage and hard work. They were joined by many other men and women from Thurrock who had served in the armed forces along with council staff and local residents to pay their respects.

The Mayor of Thurrock began his speech by saying: “Over four thousand flags will be flown around the British Isles this week, many from historic buildings, some by individual members of the general public who want to show their support and many, many more will be flown by our serving personnel overseas.

“By ‘Flying the Flag’ here in Thurrock we will be showing our support for our armed forces, the men, the women, those currently serving and those who have served.

Thurrock’s Leader Cllr John Kent added: “We should all spend time at least thinking of those who serve this country, putting their lives on the line so the rest of us are able to enjoy the freedoms we have become used to.

“When we think of those institutions that make our great nation what it is, so many of us think of the Monarchy, the NHS or the BBC. But nothing captures the spirit of our country better than our armed forces. They are made of people from every part of our country and their collective courage, discipline and individual ingenuity – demonstrated in the most difficult of circumstances – is awe-inspiring.


  1. I am sure most people agree entirely with the comments of the Mayor, Cllr Tony Fish, and the Leader of the Council, Cllr John Kent. However I note, standing behind John Kent in the accompanying photograph, the smiling face of Cllr Charles Curtis who is opposed to members of the armed forces returning to civilian life, some with terrible injuries all of them traumatised in some way by their experiences of warfare. When he was Mayor he signed the Council’s “Veterans Charter” whilst at the same time he was opposed to it’s purpose. Cllr Curtis states that cannot understand why ex-service personnel should be given special treatment “they voluntary sign-up and know what they are letting themselves in for, it is their job so why should they be given any special treatment”. He then has the effrontery to compare his time as a “soldier”
    to that of the young servicemen of today omitting to say he spent most of his time as a National Service soldier on the run i.e. absent without leave. His presence demeaned the ceremony and was hypocrisy at it’s worst. I am sure that all of us, with the probable exception of Cllr Charles Curtis, agree that the collective courage, discipline and ingenuity of our armed forces is awe-inspiring. I wonder what Cllr Curtis was really thinking behind that “grin”.


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