Sunday 11th November commenced with 31 Group ROCA attending in strength, All Saintsí Church Eglantine at 1130 hours- an annual occasion.

Before the Service, our member Brian Fitzsimons smartly carried 31 Group ROCA Standard, which he then slow- marched up the Aisle.
Our Secretary, Paddy Malone laid a wreath on behalf of 31 Group ROCA on the War Memorial at the back of the Church.

During the Service, Brian, who is a part-time worker at the Somme Heritage Centre, gave a lecture on the history of every member of the parish killed during WW1 and WW11. He had spent nearly two years working on this history. Afterwards, he presented the Rector with a hardback folder containing all this information. The Rector was really pleased to receive this, which he said would now form part of the Parish records for all to read. Thank you very much Brian on behalf of 31 Group ROCA. You did us proud.

After the Service, Paddy Malone joined others to lay small wooden crosses at the graves of each airman. Then we all retired to the Parish Hall, where there was a fine reception.

Afterwards, Paddy Malone, gave a short address in which he said that a chapter of remembrance was opened in the Church when 31 Group ROC presented the Church with the Airmenís Memorial Window in September 1990, just one year prior to standown of the Corps. He added that we can now complete this chapter and asked the Chairman of 31 Group ROCA Malcolm Napier MBE to present a beautifully enlarged mounted photograph and description of the Airmenís Memorial Window to the Rector. It also includes a brief history of the ROC and displays two gold coloured ROC Badges. The Photograph was once again completed by our member and master photographer Melvyn Snelgrove and to whom we are extremely grateful as always.

Then at 1830 hours many 31 Group ROCA members joined the Royal British Legion Poyntzpass branch Co Armagh for their annual Remembrance Parade and Church Service. The parade was led by Poyntzpass silver band and Tyroneís Ditches Pipe band with six Regimental Standards including 31 Group ROCA and many youth organisations.

Our member and Secretary of RBL Poyntzpass, Harry Briggs laid the wreath on behalf of RBL Poyntzpass and recited the Exhortation and the Kohima epitaph. The Church was packed to overflowing. After parading back to the RBL Hall there was a great supper for all.

Paddy Malone

[27nov07 23:00]

31 Group ROCA Presentation


31 Group ROC Association always participates in the Remembrance Day Service at All Saintsí Church Eglantine, near Lisburn at which the Standard is paraded.

In November 2007, the Chairman of 31 Group ROCA, Mr Malcolm Napier MBE presented on our behalf, a mounted photograph of the Airmenís Memorial Window in the Church to the Rector, Rev Canon C W Bell. This Window was originally presented to the Church in September 1990 by 31 Group ROC and friends in Memory of airmen of the Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Air Forces who died while flying from RAF Long Kesh and local airfields.

The ROC Crest appears clearly at the top left and right hand corners while a brief history of the Corps is included along the base of the picture.

When the Memorial Window was originally presented, a very proud chapter of remembrance was opened and which was now completed by this fine presentation.

Rev. Canon C W Bell, Rector of All Saints Church, Eglantine and Malcolm Napier MBE, Chairman of 31 Group ROCA.

Brian Fitzsimons, Mrs. Norma Bell, Rev. Canon C W Bell with Malcolm Napier MBE, Paddy Malone and RAFA member.

Photos by Mrs. N Bell

[13jul08 16:00]