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London memento for royal duties

16 May 2018
A Royal Naval Charity originally set up to benefit seafarers and their dependents has presented mementos to the Royal Navy Sailors who guarded the Royal Palaces at the end of 2017.

Greenwich Hospital, the Royal Naval Charity that can trace its roots back over three hundred years, was keen to thank those members of the Senior Service who had volunteered for the duty for their efforts and dedication in mounting the guard at Buckingham Palace, St James Palace, the Tower of London and Windsor Castle.

“It was a great occasion, when the Royal Navy carried out London duties for the first time,” said Hugh Player, Director of Greenwich Hospital.

“The public soon realised they were not Guardsmen and it was very pleasing to see something completely different, placing the Naval Service in the public eye and having the honour of guarding the Queen. The Royal Navy have a very good reputation for public duties and they looked tremendous on parade.

"This occasion really provided a focal point for the Senior Service and they really did stand out, as they do at the Cenotaph during the November ceremonies each year.

"They took their place centre stage and everyone was delighted; it also showed the tri-Service nature of our Armed Forces.”

The Royal Navy have a very good reputation for public duties and they looked tremendous on parade.

Hugh Player, Director of Greenwich Hospital

The man responsible for ensuring the Naval Service is understood, respected and valued in London is Commodore David Elford OBE, ADC, Naval Regional Commander for Eastern England.  He was at Wellington Barracks in London to witness the handing over of the first Queen’s Royal Navy Guard memento to Warrant Officer 1 ‘Eddie’ Wearing, the Royal Navy’s senior ceremonial training officer.

“We are always looking for suitable opportunities and mounting the Royal Guard during the Year of the Navy was a great chance, which I am glad we were able to take.

"The effect it generated overall far exceeded our expectations. The important thing we are doing today is recognising the Sailors who invested their time and effort in making it all happen.

"I think, to a man and woman, everyone enjoyed what they did and many would volunteer to do it again. You can only have one first time and this memento is a memory for them all.

"I am delighted that Greenwich Hospital was able to step up and generate these framed pictures for us and I am enormously grateful to Hugh Player and his charity.”

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