Armed Forces say Thanks to the people of Wooton Bassett



Just caught this on BBC News 24:

After turning out to pay their respects to others, the people of Wootton Bassett are to be honoured themselves.

The Wiltshire town is internationally famous for lining the streets to honour Britain's war dead.

It began in April 2007 as the coffins of servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan were brought along High Street after arriving at RAF Lyneham.

This weekend, the Armed forces will return the tribute with a parade and flypast from a Hercules aircraft.

In a letter the Head of the British Armed Forces, Sir Richard Dannett, said: "I am writing to express my sincere gratitude...

"In many respects, it is the things that cost nothing that are the ones that are the most important - a friendly greeting in the street, a prayer in church... But the gestures shown by the people of Wootton Bassett surpass these at every level."

The tradition began after a decision was taken to bring all service personnel war dead home to Britain through RAF Lyneham and Wootton Bassett.

Previously servicemen and women had been flown into both RAF Lyneham and RAF Brize Norton.

The parade is due to start at 1400 BST. Bands will then march into position, paying tribute to those who have given up time to honour others.

Great idea and I hope all goes well

Any Arrsers in that area today?
What a shitter, I work in Swindon but Im on night shift and live 40 miles away, If I was on Earlies I would of skived off for a couple of hours to attend.

Uncaring parts of the nation take note! Well done Wooton Bassett yokels.


Book Reviewer
I will be attending as a spectator. As such, a quick question of protocol, uniform or smart civvies?

I have been able to make it along to a few of these recently and it truly is remarkable. No one has asked them to do this, it is entirely off their own back. And it is not just the old and bold who do it. Young kids skiving school have been seen to line the street as well.

BRB its at two in the afternoon, sure you cant make it?

Edited to add; On the last occasion, a few of us from the local TA unit attended in uniform to help form the line as it was a friend of ours that was being brought back. We received a humbling welcome from old gents who had rows of medals and tears in their eyes. WB is a remarkable town.
I know this little town really well as the kids and teachers from Wootton Bassett School raise a shed load of cash for the charity I run and present a healthy cheque every year.

Well done to all involved!
Thoroughly touching that the Military are going to give something back to this wonderful town. I have been very impressed and incredibly moved by some of the images coming from Wooton Bassett whilst watching on ops. Well done them and i'm glad that they are being recognised.

Well done the people of Wootton Bassett - for such a small place, it has shown by example, the respect that all should pay for those who make the ultimate sacrifice.

I hope that the media, are able to devote the coverage to this, that it so richly deserves. Not only as acknowledgement to the residents of Wootton Bassett, but also as a reminder to other communities throughout the country.

We will remember them.
Well done to whoever thought this idea up, a well deserved recognition for Wooton Basset.
fozzy said:
In a letter the Head of the British Armed Forces, Sir Richard Dannett, said: "I am writing to express my sincere gratitude...
Good to see 'grey man' Stirrup's impact as CDS once again hits the headlines...

'New' Labour may have kept him on to deny the top job to Gen Dannatt, but as far as the public are concerned, the man who stands on the steps of the MOD and makes the case for the ordinary soldier is the head of the armed forces.


PE4rocks said:
Well done to whoever thought this idea up, a well deserved recognition for Wooton Basset.

Would it be too much to ask BBC News 24/Sky to suspend their endless 24/7 coverage of the dull mudslinging in the US Election and the Gloom mongering of the Credit Crunch, to carry this event live?
I used to live in Wootton Bassett up until 2005.

I'm a bellringer and we rang a quarter peal at the church in WB for the men who died when the Hercules crashed. The bells were muffled as they were when I rang at Lyneham for the samer reason. I'd never had anything to do with the armed services until then and it was the friends I made when living in Wootton Bassett (and particulalry through the rugby club there) that convinced me to go and join the TA. I am now in the TA and a member of the Army Guild of Bellringers - we rang a quarter peal for the 25th anniversary of the Falklands last year.
I have attended a repatriation ceremony at RAF Lyneham. It was one of the saddest experiences of my life.

At the time, I was unaware that local people were also paying their respects. I am delighted that they have shown their support and solidarity.

Well done Wooten Bassett. The military community is very grateful.
Well in WB.
Always loved the Town and its ideals in this form for the fallen.

They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
What a great town.

I must admit that when I attended two repatriation ceremonies at Basra Air Station, a thought did cross my mind to the effect of 'well, that was a good send off but the people in Blighty won't give a sh1t once you get back there'. I'm so glad the people of Wootton Bassett have proved me wrong.

New Posts

Latest Threads