The Army Apprentice National Memorial Service,
held on Sunday 11th May 2014, marks the first annual event for the AANM Charity at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffs
The Service was also marked as a special occasion for the Association of Harrogate Apprentices, with the Dedication and Blessing of their new Standard, it being the first time all Standards of the four sponsoring Associations were ‘on parade’ together.
The inaugural AANM annual service, planned by Maurice Hope (Arborfield) and conducted by the Reverend Gary Kelly (Carlisle), was held on the memorial site at the NMA Alrewas. The service was attended by more than seventy ex-apprentices and families, including our patrons, Major-General Berragan and Major-General Stokoe and the founding Trustees. Three pipers, a bugler and the Salvation Army Band all played their part in a very moving service. Pipe Major Alex Burt (Arborfield) composed a lament especially for the occasion entitled “The Army Apprentice” the performance being a worldwide debut. The most significant facet of the service was that for the very first time all four standards of the sponsoring associations were on parade, with the principal moment of the service being the dedication of the new standard of the Association of Harrogate Apprentices.
Important event for the Association of Harrogate Apprentices – Dedication & Blessing of the Association’s First Standard by the Rev Gary Kelly (Carlisle)
The Trustees extended an invitation to Major General J.D. Stokoe CB CBE, (Harrogate 63A) to join Major General Berragan CB (Arborfield 48A) and become our second Patron. General Stokoe was pleased to accept. This appointment enhances the profile of the AANM project. From the beginning of the project, Trustees have been under-represented by members of the Harrogate and Carlisle associations. An appeal for new Trustees resulted in Jim Smith, Harrogate, and Tony Fullerton, Carlisle, being elected as Trustees. There are now eleven Trustees, with each of the four sponsoring associations being represented by a minimum of two Trustees. The Secretary, Gordon Bonner, outlined the format for the Trustees Saturday night dinner at the Mickleover Court Hotel, Derby and the inaugural memorial service to be held at the NMA the following morning, 11th May. The memorial service generated a number of costs: hire of Salvation Army Band, musicians, chairs, and printing of order of service, totalling just under £200:00p.As the only source of income to the AANM Trust is an annual grant from each of the sponsoring associations, the Trustees are to submit a request to our sponsors to increase the annual grant from £50 to £100, thus enabling the Trustees to fully fund the AANM website and provide for an annual memorial service. Johnny McGahan, (Harrogate) Trustee and NMA Liaison Officer, confirmed that the NMA was carrying out the planned maintenance of the memorial to a satisfactory standard and that the AANM maintenance investment was performing as expected. The Webmaster, Max Warwick, reported that the page hits on the AANM website are averaging around 30,000 hits per annum. Max Warwick and Gordon Bonner gave notice of their intention to retire respectively as Webmaster and Secretary at the AGM 2015.
Patron Major General Berragan CB introduces Major General John Stokoe CB, CBE (on left) who joins him as a Patron, to the assembled gathering, during the informal dinner in the evening.
Trustee’s Dinner night, held at the Menzies Mickleover Court Hotel, Derby on Saturday 10th May, 2014
Fifty two ex-apprentices and guests dined at the Mickleover Court Hotel. Prior to dinner, the AANM Chairman introduced our new patron Major General Stokoe to the assembled Trustees and guests. Two pre-prandial presentations were made to the project stonemason, Mr Keith Rackham; one being a photographic record of the construction of the memorial from start to finish and the second, an A2 size photograph of the finished memorial, signed by General Berragan and the founding Trustees. The diners were piped into dinner by three Arborfield ex-apprentices, Lt. Col. (Rtd.) David Pickworth, Robin Bartholomew (Pipers) and Anthony “Tee Cee” Church (Side drummer). By popular vote of those attending the dinner night, it is planned to hold a similar event at the same hotel on the evening of Saturday 9th May2015, which will be open to all ex-apprentices and their guests. Details will be published on the AANM and association websites and in regimental magazines.