- and commemorating a century of armed service.
As WFA members are aware, we have been running a Hydration Station at the Milton Keynes Marathon since personal accident led me to this event in 2012. It gave rise to a special fund-raiser. This is entitled A Century of Armed Service and would go to current service personnel in the name of those who served 100 years ago and whose memory we in the WFA treasure and remember. Publicity for the WFA is high at such an event and we are asked about membership and meetings often.
This project would 'run' for the duration of the Centenary and would hopefully allow us to provide a piece of equipment or something for our Armed Forces. Injury recovery made major leaps during the Great War, blood transfusions, innovative surgical procedures and plastic surgery made their mark.
We currently have around £2,000 but would hope to arise a substantial sum to remind those who serve today and their families of the tradition of service and comradeship, fostered by the WFA and its membership.
We have a great team of people who come to support the WFA and our ideas by standing for several hours in the sun, working their proverbial socks off which went off really well despite another hot day and a change of venue; it was quite surreal being in the middle of one of the main dual carriageways through Milton Keynes, picking up plastic bottle tops and runners' rubbish!
It is inspiring to watch so many ordinary people pushing themselves so hard to achieve a personal goal, beat injury and raise money for charity.
Our huge thanks go to the WFA Marathon Support Team, this year again including WFA members, LAFitness gym staff and friends, twinning colleagues, friends from my teaching career and .............. our young volunteer Julie who is very reliable and the runners love to take their drinks from her rather than us. She will now be laying a WFA wreath for us on the Twinning weekend in June as part of the official WFA delegation and has chosen a poem to read out with her Mum. Also there will again be the niece, Ann, of the young man whose death one week short of his 17th birthday sparked the relationship between the two communities. The MK Poet Laureate has written the following – 'Left without Notice' as a tribute to all those who did the same. Please see the link for more information on this.......................
We are also pleased to include again another WFA relative whose Great-Uncle is also in the Cemetery at Plugstreet Doug Kirby's Great Uncle Walter. Are there any more relatives in this area please?
Watching the runners is always moving, 100 for a small baby, those for H4H and other mainline charities plus ourselves. Our team do the WFA proud in their vests, totally professional and willing to clear up every single bottle cap before the road was re-opened to weekend traffic.
The legacy of the courage of 'our Lads' and the comradeship of the WFA and the spirit of Twinning is alive and well.
Donations are still very welcome, please.
If anyone is interested in attending and assisting us next year, Spring 2015, then again please let me Jane know. The project will run until the end of the Centenary of that Great Conflict 1914 -1918.
Once again we are proud to be able to make a difference to the current 'Lads' in the name of our own special 'Lads', whose memory we treasure'. The First World War Centenary begins next summer – please help us to help them. And – enjoy yourselves into the bargain 'They shall grow not old....'
Photographs courtesy of Roy Backhouse and Ian Mellor.