A special service to dedicate a new flag for a support group for the children of armed forces families took place yesterday (Thursday) at HM Naval Base, Plymouth.
The group, called HMS Heroes, attended a special church service at St Nicholas Church in HMS Drake to dedicate a new flag designed by the children using the Royal British Legion’s flag along with the HMS Heroes logo. The flag was originally received by HMS Heroes children at a ceremony in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour and it was dedicated before beginning active service.
The ceremony was attended by military and civic dignitaries including Council Leader, Vivien Pengelly and the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Peter Brookshaw. The service was led by children from HMS Heroes and will be followed by a short reception for the congregation.
Council Leader, Vivien Pengelly, said: “I’ve been following the progress of our HMS Heroes group and what they have achieved is truly remarkable. The children have really put their group on the map and this latest dedication service is another accomplishment they can feel very proud of. HMS Heroes really are putting the needs of forces children in the minds of community leaders and politicians.”
HMS Heroes, which was formed in 2010, is a support network made up of pupils from primary and secondary schools across Plymouth who have parents or carers in the armed forces. It is co-ordinated by Plymouth City Council’s Services for Children and Young People and provides practical help and advice to service children ranging from 7 to 14 years old.
Once dedicated, the standard will be raised at a huge number of events the group is involved with including Armed Forces week, the national Royal British Legion conference in Birmingham and the Remembrance services being held in November where it will join the long established standards of the Royal British Legion in commemoration of those who have given their lives for our country.
Throughout autumn, the standard will be hosted in each of the schools involved with HMS Heroes, where children will have a ‘hands on’ opportunity to learn the history and handling of standards from the Royal British Legion team of standard bearers.
The Rev Martyn Gough Royal Navy, said: “The chance for HMS Heroes to come to St Nicholas’ Church to dedicate their new Standard is a fantastic opportunity for the children of Service families to see the bond that unites us in the Royal Navy. The work done by their Dads and Mums away often for long periods of time means that these children need not just support but the bonds of friendship that an organisation such as HMS Heroes provides. Today has been about celebration and friendship and proves yet again what a family the RN really is.