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Lt Gen Lamb speaks for all of us in the Armed Forces

#1
This is the full speech by Lt Gen Sir Graeme Lamb at the announcement of gallantry awards in Colchester.

AWESOME - Please share




Welcome to this day, particularly the families and friends. We in uniform know only too well the silent burden that you carry for those of us who serve this country. Tomorrow Operational Awards List 32 is made public. Today is about those from all three Services who have been recognised for their bravery. It is their stories that are on display here: respect that.

It is said that “true riches cannot be bought – one cannot buy the experience of brave deeds or the friendship of companions to whom one is bound forever by ordeals suffered in common – true friendship itself is an emerald simply beyond price.” Those in uniform understand that bond, those here and those they fought alongside recognise simple courage and we the nation recognise that these young men and women acted above and beyond the call of duty. ‘Duty’ a word considered rather old-fashioned, seldom heard today along with integrity, honesty, service, sacrifice but terms these soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines recognise, live and die by. These quiet and unsung heroes understand only too well what Colonel Paddy Maine alluded to when he talked of ordeals suffered in common and what held them together.

These men and women know only too well the burden that is duty. They are no braver nor less courageous than the likes of Col Maine and his forefathers, no less committed, no less human and they are in every way the match of those who went before them.

These young people, ladies and gentlemen, are the British Armed Forces.

I have read ill-judged remarks from casual observers, from armchair critics, that we are an Army that is overwhelmed, humiliated and downtrodden; that we are an Army that struggles to punch above its weight. Challenge those here who spend time – again at worlds end – with that claim. They are not consumed by trivial self-interest, barging others aside in order to gain some material advantage for ambition.

These warriors are the stuff of legend. They know the meaning of life and death, of standing by your friends, of standing up for something which they and we recognise as a mighty force; and being counted. They know only too well just how fragile is the gift of life and they know only too well the human cost and will remember those, every bit their equal, who did not make it home. Those who gave their full measure in some foreign field: gone, never forgotten.

The likes of Sergeant Major O’Donnell, bigger than life, braver than a lion, saviour of others’ lives, holder of the George Medal – posthumously awarded to him today a bar to that award. A most gallant gentleman; I only wish I had had the privilege to have met him.

To those who returned: these young people are splendid company. Tough as nails, they do get knocked on their backsides every so often but they do not lie there and whine that life is unfair, they get up, dust themselves off and get on with it.

They are the British Armed Forces; they defend this realm and our way of life, they are made of sterner stuff and when asked will call out whomever, whenever onto whatever field of battle they choose and gladly. Look no further for your 21st Century role models; these are your real heroes: they live amongst you, they defend you and your right to freedom and the freedom of those less fortunate than you. There are none better and I would wish to work with none other.

They are drawn from across this nation and from regiments steeped in history from Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales. Colour or creed matters not, but mark this, they are of the right stuff. If you want to see all that is good, all that is great in this nation of ours and its Armed Forces look no further than on the pages of the operational awards you are about to print and be humbled. But remember also that what is listed here are those individuals who were seen on the field of battle and their actions recorded – there are quite literally hundreds who were not.

They make up our ranks, they are no less brave, they have done and continue to do their duty. As Field Marshal Montgomery recalled “every one an emperor.” I salute them and those here, their courage and their sacrifice. I have a soldier’s deep respect for the awards they have received and know only too well that they have been won by iron hearts in wooden ships.
 
#3
Wonderful stuff

This is what we should be hearing from the mealy mouthed politicians. Not their grudging 'I want to pay my condolences to the family of X'

General you are a 3*
 

Auld-Yin

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#8
Wish I could have articulated it like that, but that is exactly how I feel about today's Armed Forces, regardless of the inevitable banter.

Well Said General Lamb.
 
#9
TheBigUn said:
Gen Graeme is a top bloke. An excellent speech. :D
He was the Bde Major at HQ 5 Inf Bde in 1981-83 (and during Op Corporate) during the time I was attached to the HQ.

He was badged RA but wore a woolly pully with a commando dagger on one shoulder and para wings on the other. AFAIK he had completed all the required courses!

Anyway, he was a soldier's soldier and pushed himself as hard as everyone else. He set very high standards and expected everyone to rise to them. Drove everyone hard but was always polite to the junior ranks, even when he was giving some staff officer a good boll*cking.

He is the sort of man we need at the top today.

Nice speech BTW! :D :D :D

Rodney2q
 
#10
Rodney2q said:
TheBigUn said:
Gen Graeme is a top bloke. An excellent speech. :D
He was the Bde Major at HQ 5 Inf Bde in 1981-83 (and during Op Corporate) during the time I was attached to the HQ.

He was badged RA but wore a woolly pully with a commando dagger on one shoulder and para wings on the other. AFAIK he had completed all the required courses!

Anyway, he was a soldier's soldier and pushed himself as hard as everyone else. He set very high standards and expected everyone to rise to them. Drove everyone hard but was always polite to the junior ranks, even when he was giving some staff officer a good boll*cking.

He is the sort of man we need at the top today.

Nice speech BTW! :D :D :D

Rodney2q
I think you´ve got the wrong bloke. Lt Gen Lamb is ex-QOHldrs, commanded a company 88-89 and the Bn 91-92
 
#16
Fantastic speech and this cannot be repeated often enough..

They are the British Armed Forces; they defend this realm and our way of life, they are made of sterner stuff and when asked will call out whomever, whenever onto whatever field of battle they choose and gladly. Look no further for your 21st Century role models; these are your real heroes: they live amongst you, they defend you and your right to freedom and the freedom of those less fortunate than you. There are none better and I would wish to work with none other.
My respect to those on the list tomorrow, I'll raise a glass to them all, as well as all the rest who weren't recognised with an award. Cheers!
 
#17
A very powerful and apt description of what these guys have achieved and sacrificed.

All you football "stars" , read it and feel shame, if you know how.
 
#18
I have a personal ditty to tell about General Lamb that shows what an outstanding chap he is.

When he was the big boss in MND(SE) for Telic 2, I was an interpreter attached to a unit based at Basrah Palace. The day I was due to road move back to the airport for my flight home the next day, Gen Lamb was visiting several units at the palace, including ours. We were introduced, he took the p1ss out me for being a matelot (quite rightly too I guess). We then were told that the city had been locked down due to aggro and that no road moves were being allowed. My OC had a quick word with the General who kindly said that I could cadge a lift to the airport on his chinook.

If that's not enough, on arrival at the airport, seeing me struggle off with bergan, holdall, daysack, body armour and weapon, he was the ONLY person who stopped, looked back, and strode towards me to relieve me of my holdall and daysack. His entourage didn't look at me twice.

An outstanding speech from an outstanding leader.
 

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