This is one of two Elizabeth Crosses that were presented in Gloucester Cathedral last night by the Lord Lieutenant. They were presented to the families of an officer and a soldier who were killed in Northern Ireland by the IRA in 1972 and 1973. They are a wonderful gesture by a grateful nation. Both families were very moved by the ceremony and despite some second thoughts were deeply appreciative. Its a long time ago and most of us forget the misery this campaign genereated. We do well to remember those who suffered.
Here is a great picture of two great men who have supported the charity to the enth degree. Andy Reid turns out for Andy McMenemy at St Helens and there we have the team that set him off at Manchester with Andy finishing , fresh as a daisy. Finally there he is setting of on the Park Run in Manchester. All this reminds us that great things are being done in our name whilst the longest weekend goes on with the news of Royal Wedding and Osama taking the headlines. Andy is in good nick and to day in Preston he is on his 48th Marathon. The weather has been good to him , not being too hot. Now he only has teens of runs to do the end is in sight.
My good friend Richard Holmes died in the early hours of Saturday and what a loss it is for us all. He was a wonderful man and a great historian. He was a valiant supporter of the charity and a few months ago I worked out on the back of a envelope that he had probably raised through his many speaking engagements for the charity about a quarter of a million pounds. He had fought Lymphoma for two years but in the end it was pneumonia with complications that got him. I shall miss him for his wonderful turn of phrase and his amusing quips which always brought a smile or laugh to his audience. He was probably the the finest speaker I have ever met. We spent many a day together travelling on horses in various parts of the world and I never ceased to be impressed by his encyclopaedic knowledge of just about everything historical. He was to accompany us on the Reivers Ride, a fundraiser in July in the Scottish Borders. This was to be the third of this series of rides following a formula Richard had thought of. We shall surely not be the same happy party as we were. Good bye old friend and thank you.