Councillor funds seat to honour his former comrades
More than 100 former RAF servicemen attended the unveiling of a seat in Grantham to honour the RAF Regiment.
The seat was unveiled on Sunday on St Peter's Hill, next to another seat erected in 2016 to remember Nick Peacock, who grew up in Grantham but was tragically killed aged 20 by a bomb in Belfast during 1989.
District councillor Dean Ward, who served with the RAF Regiment for nine years, funded the seat, using £250 of his own money and a £1,000 council grant scheme for individual councillors to support various projects in their wards.
The 10.30am unveiling was carried out by Grantham Deputy Mayor George Chivers and Mayor Mike Cook, with a service conducted by padre (military clergyman) Adrian Klos. Also present, were Chris Kennedy from Rolls & Scrolls, who made the bench, which also included a solid brass RAF Regiment crest funded by a 2,500 member Facebook group of the ex RAF Regiment and Service Regiment.
Group Captain Dave Tait from RA F Honington was also present, reflecting on Grantham's local link with the RAF Regiment, which was formed by Royal Warrant in 1942, with its first depot at RAF Belton Park.
Coun Ward told the Journal afterwards: "The day was fantastic. I had been expecting just 30 to turn up but I was overjoyed to see more than 100. There were lots of medals on display, plenty of berets and blazers. We also had two standard bearers- Colin Claridge-Jones and Alfie Kent.
"Afterwards, we all went to the annual Regiment reunion at the Black Dog just down the road. More than 250 turned up and raised Â£1,500 for the RAF Heritage Centre in Honington.
"It was a lovely sunny day. The padre blessed the seat. I read a prayer.
"It was a fantastic day, quite appreciated."