19.06.17 Peter Dias

Annual Banquet recognises our Armed Services


The Annual Banquet took place at Drapers’ Hall in May. Our guest speaker was Stephen Clark TD, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights; Chairman of the Battle Back Appeal and trustee of the Wheelwrights Charity. He holds the Order of Mercy and the Hero Medal from Help for Heroes. Stephen spoke about the long standing and important relationship between the City and the Armed Services, recognising the strong links that the Coachmakers Company enjoys with its military affiliated units.  He also spoke about his work with the Battle Back Centre, which was established by the British Legion to support wounded, injured and sick Service personnel. The Centre exists to help people achieve their best possible recovery and either return to Service duty or make a smooth transition to civilian life.

Our guest of honour was Lord Frederick Windsor, the son of Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, who presented the Coachmakers’ Awards to the winners from each of the Company’s affiliated military units. The Coachmakers’ Man-of-the-Year Award is presented annually to a sailor, soldier or airman and is made by the individual units to the person who has made the most significant contribution to the unit during the previous year.

The winners for 2016-2017 were:

HMS BULWARK – Petty Officer Andrew Morgan

HMS BULWARK – Petty Officer Andrew Morgan

HMS BULWARK – Petty Officer Andrew Morgan

Petty Officer Morgan was awarded the HMS BULWARK ‘Person of the Year’ award for his dedication to the training of junior Warfare Specialists. His commitment ensured impressive numbers qualified which allowed them to move onto other Platforms with their careers unhindered before BULWARK entered Extended Readiness. Coupled with his aptitude to train young people he was the driving force in helping those less fortunate. As Mess President of the Petty Officers’ Mess he organised countless charity events which raised thousands of pounds for the British Royal Legion.

Commando Helicopter Force - Sgt Nicholas Godley Royal Marines

Commando Helicopter Force – Sgt Nicholas Godley Royal Marines

Commando Helicopter Force – Sgt Nicholas Godley Royal Marines

Sgt Godley is part of a team of people who are responsible for turning young Naval airmen and Royal Marines into Commando aircrew ready for operations on the front line. His ability and zeal for teaching is just as impressive as his performance on previous front line operations making him an unflappable and exemplary tutor in the air and on the ground. He thinks nothing of spending hours of his own time ensuring that each student is fully prepared, be they straight from basic training or refreshing from other areas of the military. He combines this with an engrained military bearing and standard of the highest order which makes him a custodian of the ethos that defines the ‘Junglies’. Sgt Godley has without doubt contributed much to the force output and subsequently the operational capability of the front line Squadrons.

Royal Dragoon Guards - Trooper Nicholas Coles

Royal Dragoon Guards – Trooper Nicholas Coles

Royal Dragoon Guards – Trooper Nicholas Coles

Trooper Coles joined the Army in April 2015 and has had a successful military career and shown huge potential. Notably, before even arriving at regimental duty he had already received two Commander Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment coins. These were presented for representing the Training Regiment at Rugby, but also for coming top student at phase 2 training. He has deployed on two Battlegroup level exercises in Canada and Kenya in the Javelin Anti-Tank role and impressed commanders with his flexibility in both the mounted and dismounted roles. More recently, Coles was placed top student during the Regiment’s Potential Non-Commissioned Officer Cadre at RAF Spadeadam, a particularly demanding dismounted exercise designed to test the determination and resolve of the Regiment’s potential future leaders. It is for this recent performance in particular that he is presented with Trooper of the Year award.

RAF Brize Norton - Warrant Officer Yvonne Conway

RAF Brize Norton – Warrant Officer Yvonne Conway

RAF Brize Norton – Warrant Officer Yvonne Conway

WO Conway has been the Station Community Support Officer since 2005. During her tenure she has facilitated countless discussions pertaining to issues with SFA, including the monumental task of migrating Service personnel and their families from RAF Lyneham. Her compassionate leadership and diplomatic approach to dealing with Defence Infrastructure Organisation and CarillionAmey defence housing contract has made a tangible difference to the lives and welfare of the Whole Force Service Family. WO Conway exudes the RAF core values in all she undertakes. She is a true ambassador for the Service and is a credit to RAF Brize Norton.

Musical entertainment was provided by Bishop’s Stortford College Chamber Choir. There is a strong musical tradition at the school and at the heart of this tradition is the choir. There was only about half of the senior chamber choir in attendance as they were the ones who did not have GCSE maths or A level chemistry the following day! To hear more from the choir or the College, visit www.youtube.co.uk/BSCollegeMusic.

Also on display outside the Drapers’ Hall were some fine examples of McLaren models. McLaren Automotive was awarded the 2017 Award to Industry for its success in applying the many skills necessary in design and manufacturing techniques to develop a range of sophisticated, elegant supercars that have been made commercially successful.

Capel Manor College was also represented by the wallet table gift in blue leather and gold stitching has been designed by Katherine Bebbington, a former student of Capel Manor and finished off by current students and is a fine example of the craftsmanship developed at the college.