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Rev Martin Evans Team Leader of RNAS Yeovilton Chaplaincy
Organist Richard Williamson

Wreath of respect for FAA fallen

Published: 27 Aug 2014

The Wreath of Respect marking 100 years of suffering and sacrifice in conflict is blessed at the Fleet Air Arm Memorial Church having been escorted there by over 30 ‘Bikers’.

As part of a week long motorcycle journey throughout the UK a representation of the Royal British Legion Riders (RBLR) of which there are over 6000 called at the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) Memorial Church at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton to say thank you to all those who have suffered and died, not just in two world wars but in conflicts up to and including the present day.

Starting at the National Memorial Arboretum on 16 August 2014, the Wreath of Respect began its eight day motorcycle journey across the UK covering more than 1250 miles. Stop offs have and will include Glasgow, York, Liverpool, Cardiff, Plymouth, Oxford and relevant and fitting  places in between before returning to the National Memorial Arboretum on 23 August 2014.

The first major stop was at Ely Cathedral on Saturday. At each stop the wreath has been laid to rest for a short period of time before being passed to another rider for the next leg of the trip. A short act of thanksgiving and blessing is held before the wreath continues on its journey.

The purpose of this nationwide wreath tour is to honour all those who have suffered and died in conflicts up to the present day. It is to acknowledge not just the pain and loss of Service men and women themselves, but also of their loved ones alongside raising money for the Royal British Legion.

Dougie Bancroft, the organiser of the Wreath of Respect Tour, says: "We have all seen the amazing pictures from the D-Day landings and we feel that many people here would like to show respect too. The Wreath of Respect is a project that will be bring people together to say thank you to all those who have given so much."

The Wreath has been especially commissioned for the event and will be laid to rest on each of the 6 nights while travelling the United Kingdom. It is a wreath of bronze poppies and incorporated in the centre of the wreath is a horseshoe from London’s Horse Guards Parade. The horseshoe is a reminder that over one million horses made a contribution to WW1 thus representing the non combative element of conflict.  

The Wreath left the FAA Memorial Church to continue its journey and travel down to Cornwall. The Riders will visit RAF St Mawgan, TS Hood (St Austell Sea Cadets) and the final leg of the journey will see the Wreath transported to HMS Raleigh where it will rest overnight.

The Wreath returns to the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire on the last day, and 23 August 2014 for a service of dedication with a 2 minutes silence and the last post. The Wreath will then be laid to rest at the Memorial and will be on display. The RBLR could not think of a more fitting place to lay the Wreath laid to rest after completing its respectful journey.


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