On Sunday 8th September members of the HUCSF Veterans Hub visited Eden Camp for the All Services Parade.
This is the largest gathering of Veterans in the North of England and invites veterans groups from all services and generations to take part in the parade and service. An annual event, this year was particularly poignant as in June the 75th Anniversary of D Day was commemorated.
The visit was organised by John Dauncey of HUCSF and Rob Taylor from the Hartlepool Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club and saw forty-seven Veterans and their family from the town travel to Eden Camp for a day of thanksgiving and remembrance.
It was the first time a visit of this kind has been arranged for Veterans from the town and the group ranged in age from 25 to 80. All three services were represented, and Standards from the Hartlepool Royal British Legion, Households Division and The Royal Airforce Association were taken.
The morning started at 9am, meeting at Victoria Park. After a quick photo opportunity, the members set off in good spirits, amicably organised by Mick Male who took the role of Sergeant Major and made sure everyone kept in line.
On arrival at the museum, the group took the opportunity to visit the various exhibitions Eden Camp has to offer.
At 2pm the Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance began, with the parade led by the Yorkshire Volunteer Band. 26 members took part in the March and a resounding cheer was heard when Hartlepool was mentioned during the service.
For many of the Veterans, the day was a wonderful opportunity to meet old comrades not seen for many years, and be able to reminisce on years gone by.
After the parade, the group spent another couple of hours look around and some of the more mature members were able to tell stories of when they were young, remembering the rationing or conflicts depicted in displays and reflecting on lost friends or family members.
The journey home saw extremely high spirits, with many an old song sung from both old and young.
On arrival at HUFC, the group dispersed, with many thanks for the trip and comments on how much they had enjoyed the day. Paul Jenkins, former RAF said, “To be able to make the journey that he would not be able to do normally has made him feel great”.
Our Veterans Hub meets on Mondays at Victoria Park from 2pm-4pm and is open to members from all services.
We also run a variety of sporting activities throughout the week. These are funded through James Knott Trust, Veterans Foundation Lottery, the RAF Benevolent Fund and Hartlepool Armed Forces Liaison Group.