Proud moment for standard bearers

The HMS Heroes Service at Ripon Cathedral.
The HMS Heroes Service at Ripon Cathedral.

Two teenagers from Ripon have acted as standard bearers for HMS Heroes at the Royal British Legion’s Fesitval of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Patrick Lindley, 16, from Ripon Grammar School, and Lauren Eckersley, 15 from Outwood Academy Ripon, were both standard bearers on Saturday for the group suporting the children of service families.

In his application to be a standard bearer, Patrick, whose father was killed in a road accident last year, said: “My father, WO1 (ASM) A Lindley REME, served for almost 23 years as an aircraft technician. Tragically my father was killed last September in an RTA, prior to his retirement.

“I should carry the standard to represent my father as this would make me, my family and my father proud, just as I am immensely proud of him.”

The occasion also proved to be a moment of pride for fellow Ripon student Lauren.

She said: “It was a very proud moment to represent HMS Heroes, Outwood Academy Ripon and the whole of North Yorkshire.  It was a huge honour just to be there”.  

The two students were accompanied by North Yorkshire Service Pupils’ Champions Annabel Hall and Nickie Young.

Nickie said: “At the entrance to the Royal Albert Hall we met Heather and Pete Ogburn, founders of HMS Heroes and our HMS Heroes friend Hazel Thomson who now works for the RBL in London.

“After a few moments’ chat the six standard bearers –two from North Yorkshire, one from Scotland, one from Cornwall and two from Plymouth – were whisked off to start a long day of rehearsals and two shows.

“The North Yorkshire HMS Hero Standard Bearers were amazing. They marched perfectly down the steps and across the auditorium, not placing a foot wrong and then they stood to attention without a wobble or a waver. I felt so proud of them.

“Being at The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance was an amazing experience and an opportunity I am very grateful for.

“Seeing our Heroes lined up with standard bearers of all ages from across the UK reminded me why we have HMS Heroes, that we are there to support children and their families.”