PROGRAM OF EVENTS
1340hrs (1.40pm) - Old comrades will be driven down to the monument in WW11 vehicles
13.50hrs( 1.50pm) - The Pipes & drums of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment will head the parade down to the monument, followed by soldiers of the Regiment, Standard bearers of the Royal Tank Regiment Association. Royal British Legion, etc, American Air Force Honour Guard, The Re-enactors WW11 Tank & escort vehicles will conclude the parade.
1355hrs( 1.55pm) - All parade members will move to their given positions and all standard bearers will proceed to support 1st Royal Tank, Regiment Guard of Honour at the monument.
1405hrs (2.05pm) - Honoured guests will take their positions and Lieutenant General Sir Anthony Mullens KCB OBE will inspect the Guard of Honour
14l5hrs (2.15pm) - A blessing and dedication of the memorial stone
1430hrs (2.30pm) - The Reverend David Hanwell will conduct the service.
1440hrs (2.40pm) - The Right Honourable Gillian Shephard MP will lay a wreath to all Desert Rats.
1500hrs (3.00pm) - Ceremony will conclude with a presentation of a Bronze mounted Jerboa (Desert Rat) donated by the 4th & 7th Armoured Brigades and The Forest Enterprise to Les Dinning, founder of the Memorial, at the conclusion of his project.
Please disperse and enjoy the displays and exhibits, including the excellent food & drink on offer.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DOWNLOAD ANY PHOTOGRAPH, BUT A DONATION TO THE DESERT RATS ASSOCIATION WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
|Additional Plaque installed by 4th & 7th Armoured Brigades to commemorate Desert Rats from 1945 to 2003 was inaugurated during this Open Day in a service conducted by the Rev. David Hanwell in the presence of The Rt. Hon. Gillian Shephard, Brigadier Adrian Bradshaw and many other senior officers of the brigades and public.||Challenger II from Tidworth just unloaded from transporter and moving into position for the parade.||In position||Challenger II Tank Transporter much admired by the public.|
|Pipe & Drum Band of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment leading the parade to the Memorial.||Rev. David Hanwell conducting the inauguration and Dedication Service.||Rev.David Hanwell, Standard Bearers and 1RTR Fooks Anti Biological & Nuclear Vehicle.|
|American Standard Bearers from Lakenheath.||VIP's attending Service.||Les Dinning. Brigadier Bradshaw, Jim Lyon Forest District Manager, Lt. General Sir Anthony Mullens, Chelsea Pensioners during Service.||Les Dinning reading poem "Why Do You March Old Man".|
|Les Dinning returning into line.||Presentation of Bronze Jerboa (Desert Rat) to Les Dinning by General Mullens to commemorate founding of the Memorial. The Jerboa was donated by the 4th & 7th Armoured Brigades and mounted on a block of oak from Thetford Forest donated by Jim Lyon.||Les admiring Jerboa with Gen. Mullens, Brigadier Bradshaw, Colonel Davies.||General Mullens, Les & Jerboa.|
Psalm 105 vv. 1-4
"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always."
A SIMPLE POEM
Why do you still march old man, with medals on your chest?
Why do you still grieve old man, for those friends you laid to rest?
Why do your eyes gleam old man, when you hear those bugles blow?
Tell me! Why do you cry old man, about those days so long ago.
I'll tell you why I march young man, with medals on my chest.
I'll tell you why I grieve young man, for those I laid to rest.
Through misty fields of gossamer silk come visions of distant times.
When boys of tender age lost lives and all their mothers pined.
We buried them in a blanket shroud, their young flesh scorched and blackened.
A communal grave, newly gouged, in blood-stained gorse and bracken.
And you ask me why I march young man, I march to remind you all.
That but for those apple-blossom youths, you'd never have known freedom at all.
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