Bugle, the Assaye Elephant, was a very busy, little pachyderm on Saturday 24 June, out and about checking on how everyone was celebrating Armed Forces Day (AFD).
He got up bright and early to help Dunbartonshire SSAFA (The Armed Forces Charity) with their street collection in Helensburgh. Formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, SSAFA is a wonderful charity that provides lifelong support to servicemen & women, veterans and their families or dependents.
This year, the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councillor Eva Bolander, & Glasgow City Council, invited regular servicemen & women, veterans and cadets to a reception in the City Chambers. The occasion was marked by re-signing of The Armed Forces Covenant by stakeholders, including the Lord Provost on behalf of the Council and representatives from the regular and reserve forces and service charities.
The Armed Forces Covenant sets out the relationship between the nation, the government and the armed forces. It recognises that the whole nation, has a moral obligation to members of the armed forces and their families, and it establishes how they should expect to be treated.
Bugle enjoyed meeting the Lord Provost and many of those at the reception, including some roughy-toughy Parachute Regiment veterans and some of our WWII veterans from The Highland Light Infantry – Jim Bradford travelled all the way up from Exeter in Devon to join the festivities.
The RHF Museum was the next stop on Bugle’s whistle-stop tour to join in the general festivities in the bar, which was looking particularly festive due to the hard work and dedication of the Ladies of the Committee. There was a possible tense moment when Bugle met Wee Jock for the first time – but all went well and they now appear to be firm friends!
A quick trip along the M8 and Bugle arrived at his last gig of the day – the AFD Street Party at Erskine, which was in full swing despite being plagued by intermittent high winds and rain showers – they make hardy folk in the British Armed Forces! It is amazing to think that Erskine has been caring for veterans for 101 years!
And, so, ended a most enjoyable, if hectic, Armed Forces Day around the West of Scotland – in case, you are worried about Bugle become over-tired, you may be interested to know that elephants need less than 2 hours sleep a day – his minders, on the other hand …….!