I had the pleasure of being invited to the Not Forgotten Associations' Buckingham Palace Parade. As part of Group 8 for Gulf War Veterans, we followed the red carpet through the Palace to the garden where we mingled with celebs, met an Air Vice Marshall, Princess Anne and got to speak personally with Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

We briefly spoke about the Hyaku Dojo in Leicester, my travels to Okinawa and training with Master Arakaki and my time served on a Bomb Disposal Squadron in the RAF. He said he was pleased with my work for the Cntry as he shook my hand and wished me well for the future.

I was humbled to be part of a small group of 12 Gulf War Veterans and amongst some of the most highly decorated people from different regiments within HM Armed Forces and Special Forces, both serving and retired. After the Royal visit, we were treated to
a special vegan option for tea and dessert - cucumber sandwiches and a selection of cake. The brass band was excellent and played all day and beat the retreat as we left at the end of the day.

Here is the Not Forgotten Association's report...

The Not Forgotten Association’s Annual Garden Party in the presence of its Patron HRH The Princess Royal was held at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 2nd July.  It was a magnificent event enjoyed by over 2,000 beneficiaries, war pensioners drawn from all three services, different wars and campaigns from Dunkirk to Afghanistan.  Her Royal Highness accompanied by Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence spent over two hours meeting many people during the course of the afternoon.

The Band of The Life Guards, The Yeoman of the Guard, service helpers drawn from the regular and volunteer elements brought colour and everyone enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea. The Beating Retreat served as the finale to this wonderful event.  Marshal of The Royal Air Force The Lord Craig took the salute and everyone went away happy.  The weather just held fine and we would like to thank everyone who took the trouble to join us from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

The Not Forgotten Association is uniquely privileged to hold a Garden Party annually by kind permission of Her Majesty The Queen.  This privilege dates back to the first Royal Patron HRH The Princess Mary who invited 600 seriously wounded for afternoon tea.