Intelligence corps gone but not forgotten

ON DIS­PLAY: Mayor vis­its ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing Ash­ford’s role

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Mike Ben­nett

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

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