Armed Forces Day takes place on the last Saturday in June; in 2022 this is on the 25th of the month. The Armed Forces Day is recognised throughout the country and is a show of support for the men and women from the military community. This includes, serving troops, veterans, cadets and their families.
In nearby, Crewe, there is a Picnic in the Park.
Moulton has a deep association with the Armed Forces. The book, 34 Men, details the stories behind the men from Moulton who died in World War I and Another Dozen details the lives of those men from the village who died in World War II.
Moulton Parish Council have asked some ex-service personnel from the village to recount their experiences from their military, and we thank them and the Royal British Legion.
I joined the army in 1980 when I was 17 and a half years of age; at only 7 stone 8, I was the smallest in training. I Loved it from day one, and my first posting was Berlin for two years guarding Rudolf Hess.
Then onto the Falklands, and back home to be stationed in Catterick, Yorkshire.
I went to Cyprus with United Nations, and then onto Northern Ireland. I served in Belfast for two years, which was not good, but good friends kept each other going.
After that, the Army posted me to Colchester for a long term posting. I did a lot of short term travelling whilst there, but finished as full Corporal, before I left in 1993.
The army was tough but wouldn’t change anything it taught me very important life skills which I still use now: make friends not enemies; help people in need every chance you get.
I had 13 years of good times. And friends for life.
I was at the Gibraltar barracks (Royal Engineers) training camp. Some of the guys I trained with, were looking at becoming commandos after passing out as a Sapper.
One in particular guy, Mick, sticks in my mind. As part of basic training you have to be able to swim to 25 metres unaided. He was about the 8th person to jump in to pool; after 20 seconds he hadn’t come back up to the surface nor had he moved. The PT dives in and drags him out the pool.
“WHAT are doing solider ?”
“Can’t swim Corporal, thought I could walk it,” was his response. This didn’t go down very well.
Any spare time I had, which wasn’t much, I taught Mick to swim over the next few weeks. I woke one morning about 04:00 and Mick was ironing. I said “What are doing?”
He said, “your combats need ironing.” This is when I realised that camaraderie was part of life in the hut. He was ironing my clothes so I didn’t get in trouble the next day. I was probably too tired to do it the night before and would have be punished with some form of physical punishment; normally a “piano or two” (the playing field that as shaped like a grand piano)
Eight years later, I got a random call from Mick saying he was getting married on Friday and would I go. Of course I went regardless of only getting five days notice. Good times, life long friends.