Veterans Aid CEO is Royal Air Force Centenary speaker
May 18, 2018
Veterans Aid CEO Dr Hugh Milroy was guest speaker at an event to commemorate the Centenary of the Royal Air Force on May 18th. Held at the RAF’s church, St Clement Danes, the service was attended by around 120 guests aged 65 and over, including serving personnel, veterans, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Air Commodore Viscount Hugh Trenchard and Air Commodore Nigel Bradshaw.
The event was hosted by Councillor Rachael Robathan, Cabinet Member for Housing and Armed Forces Champion, Westminster City Council.
In her introduction Cllr Robathan said, “Hugh is a former RAF Wing Commander and Chief Executive of Veterans Aid. He was awarded an OBE in recognition of his outstanding work on behalf of homeless ex-Servicemen and women. Hugh works tirelessly to challenge perceptions about the veterans’ community and issues around homelessness and mental health. Regarded as an expert in his field, he frequently advises government agencies, academics and welfare groups from across the world.”
Dr Milroy, who spoke about recent history and its impact on ex-service personnel, said, “I am firmly of the belief that if you are in crisis in this country today, you are singularly lucky to be a veteran…you are a citizen plus. Our veteran support system may not be perfect, but from the perspective of a frontline charity I can say that things are definitely not as bad as some would have us believe!”
Other speakers included Ian Castle, historian and author, who spoke about the formation of the RAF; Air Commodore Viscount Hugh Trenchard, who spoke about his ancestor Lord Trenchard, often described as the ‘father’ of the RAF; Peter Daniel, Education Officer from the Westminster Archives Centre, who spoke about local Victoria Cross holder Flight Lieutenant Ferdinand Maurice Felix West and Group Captain Christopher Finn, Senior MPhil FRAeS RAF (Retd), who spoke about The Fall of France and the Battle of Britain.
Closing remarks were made by The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Ian Adams.
Veterans Aid enjoys an unique partnership with Westminster which, in 2016 became the first London borough to partner with the Charity to tackle rough sleeping. The partnership is committed to ensuring that no ex-serviceman or woman ever has to resort to bedding down on the street and Westminster outreach staff now automatically refer any potentially homeless ex-service personnel directly to Veterans Aid.
St Clement Danes Church is the Central Church of the Royal Air Force. Re-consecrated in 1958 as a perpetual shrine of remembrance to those who have died in service in the RAF it is a living church prayed in and visited throughout the year by thousands of people seeking solace and reflection.
More than 150 000 people are commemorated by name in the church’s Books of Remembrance.