SSAFA Welcome Home Dinner at The New Bath Hotel, Matloc, Derbyshire

SSAFA Forces Help Derbyshire Welcome Home Dinner for the 2nd battalion The Mercian Regiment

The Derbyshire branch of SSAFA Forces Help hosted a welcome home dinner on 22nd January at Matlock's New Bath Hotel for the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment on their return from a six months tour in Afghanistan. Lt Col Simon Banton, commanding officer, together with four senior members of his battalion attended the dinner and were welcomed by the Lord Lietenant, Mr William Tucker, The Rt Reverend Humphrey Southern, Bishop of Repton, The High Sheriff, Sir Henry Every and Major Charles Stephenson, Chairman of SSAFA Forces Help in Derbyshire, together with leading military personnel and senior council officers. 140 guests were present to pay tribute to a battalion staffed by many soldiers recruited from within the county.

Lt Colonel Banton received a standing ovation for an inspired address, in which he spoke of the very important job the forces were doing under extremely difficult conditions.

The role of care for those wounded in mind or body rests with such organisations as SSAFA Forces Help, and the Colonel finished his address by thanking those volunteers within the county of Derbyshire who spend so much time and effort rebuilding the lives of those in need.

THE"MERCIAN REGIMENT                                                                                              The Mercian Regiment was created in 2007 when three previous regiments amalgamated – The Cheshire’s, The Worcester &"Sherwood Foresters, and The Staffordshire (now respectively the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions).

The title ‘Mercian’ derives from the fact that the three constituent regiments fitted geographically into the ancient Saxon Kingdom of Mercia. Interestingly, SSAFA Derbyshire’s current County Chaplain is the Bishop of Repton and as Repton was once the capital of Mercia, Derbyshire can be said to be at the heart of Mercia and thus the centre of the Regiment.

Colonel in Chief of the Mercian Regiment is HRH The Prince of  Wales and 2 Mercian is under the command of Lt Col Simon Banton. The regimental colour is Lincoln Green – associated with the WFR regiment since the Sherwood Foresters of WWI – and its motto is ‘Stand Firm and Strike Hard’.

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SSAFA                                                                                                                        The Soldiers,"Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) is a national charity founded in 1885. It helps and supports those who serve in our armed forces, those who used to serve and the families of both. Teams of trained volunteers work through a network of county branches to provide a reliable and trusted service to more than 50,000 people each year. The Derbyshire branch has as many as 40 volunteers who offer help ranging from advice to on-going care for wounded service personnel.

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