100th Anniversary of the ending of World War 1 Bryan Rowe represented the Club at the Memorial Service at Holy Trinity Church, Kingswood on the 11th November. He joined many local dignitaries, military groups and Scouts for a memorable occasion. The Club purchased a wreath from the local British Legion at a cost of £17 but this year we have donated £100 to this worthy cause.
The Queen’s Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard October is our annual joint dinner with Hanham Club and this year Hanham hosted us. In terms of attendance this was probably the most successful of our joint Dinner Nights as there were thirty three of us guests from Kingswood. There was a really good atmosphere with a very enjoyable meal of chicken with seasonal vegetables followed by a dessert with sufficient for second helpings. The talk was a history of a military royal organisation covering over five hundred years and twenty two monarchs. On the face of it this could appear very boring, but on the contrary, our speaker, Shaun McCormack, provided an hour of interesting, humorous observations regarding the Queen’s Yeomen of the Guard with no notes. He gave an insight into military personnel from the services; Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force dressing up in large blue hats, long scarlet dresses, red tights, suspender belts, black shiny shoes with silver buckles to provide a colourful guard of honour to her Majesty. This traditional sight of the Yeomen of the Guard on many royal events: weddings, funerals, garden parties etc is ingrained in our history. It began in 1520 with 680 Guards. Today there are 79 and is the only personal body guard to carry arms to the Queen since Henry VII. Shaun told us that in the early years, one of the jobs of the guards was to stuff hay in her majesty’s mattresses before she went to bed and to this very day each year on November 5th it is the job of the guard to search the Houses of Parliament for gunpowder. The pay for this job is only £100 per year yet the sight of the Yeomen standing behind our monarch on so many royal events helps bring very many tourists to this country. The uniform costs £4,000, the hat alone £400. Shaun said how he hopes Scotland does not leave the United Kingdom as it would be impossible to remove the Thistle from the Uniform. Seventy nine new tunics would cost a small fortune. He also noted the Queen is very observant on most occasions but she did not spot the hole in one Guard’s tights covered up with red felt tip pen. Shaun brought a lot of equipment with him and he let the audience handle the uniforms and feel how heavy they are. It was a most enjoyable evening.
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