Colne Veterans Breakfast Club – Remembrance

Colne Veterans Breakfast Club – Remembrance

On Sat 2nd November, members of the Colne Veterans Breakfast Club laid a wreath of poppies at the Cenotaph ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

We were honoured to be invited to have breakfast with the veterans at the The Crown Hotel at their ‘Breakfast Club’ and to attend their private ceremony at the Cenotaph to lay the wreath.  This year, their special guest of honour – Francis Brindle.  This was for his 99th birthday and, of course, to show their respect to the El Alamein veteran. 

Breakfast at The Crown Hotel
Jim Spence was the standard-bearer and kindly posed for us just after breakfast. Jim Ellis was tasked to lay the wreath at the Cenotaph and Rodney Sumner played the Cenotaph on the bagpipes during the service (and a special El Alamein tune at The Crown Hotel).

Chairman Ben Robinson acquired the wreath and made the centrepiece for it.  He also secured the services of Rodney Sumner for the piping duties for the Club.  He also organised the service at the Cenotaph and read the Exhortation and the Eulogy. 

Colne Veterans Breakfast Club
The Colne Veterans Breakfast Club aims to meet for breakfast on the first Saturday of each month, 10.00 – 11.30am. Of course, their overall aim is to ensure that veterans in need are given support and are referred to those that can assist them. So, if you’re a veteran, ex-forces or serving forces then you’ll be most welcome.

We’ve previously have had great day out with them during their visit to the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.

There’s always something to learn …
Today, we had a lovely chat to Cath Mitten, who has been a member of their Committee for about a year. She’s a retired nurse (Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps) and served with 207 Field Hospital. She had the rank of Captain.  She’s pictured here with her breakfast (well, we are having breakfast together …) and again with Sue Brindle.  Events took over and out chat with Cath was cut short … no doubt we’ll talk again soon!

Did you know that Chairman Ben Robinson (and his friend Bill Hibbert from Bolton) are the only two Northern Irish Cavalrymen from the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards in the club?

Veterans Remember
After breakfast, the veterans held a private ceremony of remembrance during which they laid a wreath of poppies at the Cenotaph.


A few extra photo’s whilst we were walking to & from the Cenotaph. En route, we asked about large plastic event poppies and explained we usually conduct a remembrance scuba dive.  Our chat about poppies lead to Jim Spence handing us a rather unique poppy badge. He explained that a photo was taken of a veteran holding a poppy in his hands and then some badges were made from it. He insisted that we take it. Wow! What a superb gift!

Guest of honour – Francis Brindle (99th Birthday)
Nice to see that Andrew Stephenson MP and Dorothy Lord attended the breakfast event. Andrew took the time to meet Francis and present him with a birthday card.

After the ceremony at the Cenotaph, a card and birthday cake were presented to Francis by Chairman Ben Robinson.  As well as El Alamein, Francis also fought in Italy at Monte Cassini (he was a Sergeant in the Royal Artillery at that time). His smile and ‘thumbs up’ suggested that he was very much enjoying the morning.

In his honour, a few special tunes were played on the bagpipes by Rodney Sumner.  (There was also a raffle – somehow we managed to scoop the 2nd prize: a box of Fox’s biscuits!)

Colne Veterans Breakfast Club – Contact details


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About Naz Alam 293 Articles
Naz is well known in the local community as a photo journalist. He is group creator for 'Colne Talk' - a Facebook Community Group which has approx 20K members. He also runs multiple Facebook pages for the local community & local business, such as 'Visit Colne'.