On Saturday 24th June 2023 Trowbridge Town Council and the Commanding Officer of the 14th Regiment Royal Artillery, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew McDermott MBE RA, accompanied by Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major) Gemma Begley signed the Armed Forces Covenant in Trowbridge Park, a pledge to show the Town Council’s support of the military community.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. The covenant is a national responsibility involving government, businesses, local authorities, charities and the public. For communities, the Armed Forces Covenant is a promise of mutual support between a civilian community and its local armed forces community.
Trowbridge’s deputy mayor Cllr Denise Bates signed the armed forces covenant during an open ceremony in the town park attended by the Commanding Officer of the 14th Regiment Royal Artillery, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew McDermott MBE RA, accompanied by Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major) Gemma Begley.
Cllr Bates said: “Trowbridge’s military history makes for a rich tapestry. Whether through providing barracks for the county’s military personnel – the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, manufacturing Spitfire aircraft during the Second World War, or providing hospitalisation and respite care for those returning from conflicts.
“As many of you are aware, the 14th Regiment Royal Artillery was granted the honour of the Freedom of the Town in 2014, in recognition of the Regiment’s service to Trowbridge, when it was garrisoned here at Holy Trinity during the Second World War. It is therefore an honour to have Lt Colonel McDermott, the Commanding Officer of the Regiment, joining us here today on this auspicious occasion.
“Trowbridge Town Council has always sought to support – either through our own services where we can, or signposting and assisting where we cannot. The signing of this document is an act that publicly endorses that stance. It is a living document that seeks to ensure no member of the military community will be left knowingly disadvantaged.”
Following the signing of the covenant, the Town Council hosted a day of family friendly entertainment in Trowbridge Park to mark this symbolic occasion. Performances from Bratton Silver Band, the Warminster Military Wives Choir and Steeple Rocks Choir kept the crowds entertained along with a range of stalls and displays, equipment from the 4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, and a fun dog show raising funds for Help for Heroes. A flypast from the fabulous Red Arrows aircraft closed the day’s proceedings.