Intelligence corps gone but not forgotten
ON DISPLAY: Mayor visits exhibition celebrating Ashford’s role
Another landmark in Ashford’s military history
THEY may have moved away but Ashford’s close links with the elite Intelligence Corps continue to thrive and prosper.
Mayor Cllr Norman Ayres led a civic party, including cabinet members John Kemp and Ian Cooling and chief executive David Hill, to officially open a new display at the Military Intelligence Museum at their new home at the Chicksands base in Bedfordshire.
Called Ashford, Home of the Intelligence Corps 1966-1997, it celebrates the close links between the town and the corps of the British Army that date back to the time they moved into Templer Barracks.
Funded jointly by the council and the museum trustees three themed panels illustrate the ceremonial events including the presentation of scrolls to the corps, the bond between them and Ashford, and an illustrated montage of royal and mayoral visits.
They were welcomed by Intelligence Corps director Brig Ewan Duncan, who said: “This display makes a proud statement of union and special relationship.”
The Mayor added: “The links between Ashford and the Intelligence Corps remain strong and they will be sustained by the many past and present members of the Corps still living in the borough.
“The display is a superb celebration of the continuing strength of the links between Ashford and the Intelligence Corps.”
These personal links included two of the hosts at the event – retired Brigadier Brian Parritt, who is chairman of the museum trustees, and Col David Burrill, both from Ashford.
Borough councillor Ian Cooling, from Wye is also a former member of the Corps and is presently Kent regional secretary for the Intelligence Corps Association. Former REME Major John Kemp also has close links.
Col (Retd) David Burrill, Deputy Colonel Commandant of the Intelligence Corps; Brig(Retd) Brian Parritt CBE; Ashford Mayor Cllr Norman Ayres, Cllr John Kemp and council chief executive David Hill, at the opening of the display
Mayor Norman Ayres views the display at the Military Intelligence Museum