Soldiers take to the pitch

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

PROUD Bed­worth Armistice Day com­mit­tee mem­bers and old soldiers will take to the pitch prior to a huge rugby match to pay homage to the fallen.

They have been in­vited by Wasps RFC to lead the two min­utes’ si­lence be­fore the An­glo-Welsh Cup game against New­cas­tle Fal­cons at the Ri­coh Arena on Satur­day.

They will first form a guard of hon­our for the play­ers and then take to the field to hold a two min­utes’ si­lence ac­com­pa­nied by Stan­dard Bear­ers.

Ken White­head, chair of the com­mit­tee, said: “We are de­lighted to have been asked and in­vited along,” he said. “It is a huge hon­our for us.”

Wasps RFC have once again swarmed in to lend their sup­port for the his­toric pa­rade, which will be held on Satur­day, Novem­ber 11 in Bed­worth town cen­tre.

They will be send­ing along stew­ards to help at the event as well as two big name play­ers, Tom Cruse and Alex Rieder, to join in the poignant ser­vice. The club has do­nated 4,000 tick­ets to the Aviva Pre­mier­ship match against New­cas­tle on Satur­day, Novem­ber 18 for the com­mit­tee to give away.

“What a won­der­ful ges­ture,” Ken said.

“They know that we are largest pa­rade in Eng­land and, be­ing just three miles away, they have shown in­cred­i­ble gen­eros­ity to­wards us. We are so grate­ful.”

Bumper crowds are ex­pected to line the streets of the town as the event this year falls on a Satur­day.

“We know we might get peo­ple who would nor­mally be at work com­ing, as it is on a Satur­day,” the chair added. “Nor­mally we get the schools com­ing along, and we hope that con­tin­ues, we have sent let­ters out to all of the schools.”

Acts of gen­eros­ity have come from across the com­mu­nity in­clud­ing Bed­worth Haulage com­pany step­ping in to pro­vide block­ades on the roads fol­low­ing a re­quest from the po­lice. But, sadly, this year, has also been tinged with dis­ap­point­ment.

The com­mit­tee had hoped to re­lease doves of peace re­lease af­ter the two min­utes’ si­lence from the main is­land close to the Coven­try Road ceme­tery. But health and safety reg­u­la­tions had put paid to it.

“We wanted a doves of peace re­lease at the is­land but the in­sur­ance was just too much for them,” he said.

“It is health and safety gone mad, you couldn’t make it up.”

Another blow has come in the form fund­ing pro­vided by War­wick­shire County Coun­cil dry­ing up.

“The county coun­cil has al­ways sup­ported us, but this year they haven’t, it is a dis­grace re­ally,” Ken said.

“We would rob a bank to make sure that this event would go ahead. It is just a shame that the coun­cil is no longer sup­port­ing us.”

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