Council Armed Forces Champion commended for heritage fund-raising

South Kesteven District Council's Armed Forces Champion Cllr Dean Ward has been awarded a top-level Commendation by his former regiment.

Cllr Ward, who is also Mayor of Grantham, received the award at RAF Honington in Suffolk, the UK base for the RAF Regiment he served with and whose first depot in 1942 was at Belton House.

He received VIP treatment and a Commandant General's Commendation in recognition of the £25,000 he has donated to Honington's Heritage Centre in recent years.

The commendation, signed by Regiment Commanding Officer Air Commodore Scott Miller, recognises Cllr Ward's 'outstanding and sustained support'.

Over the last nine years Cllr Ward has raised £50,000 for various good causes, with the Heritage Centre getting the lions share. Other recipients include the Soldiers, Sailors and Air Force Association military charity, St Wulfram's Church and Grantham homeless.

Cllr Ward, who served in the RAF between 1983 and 1991, said: "For the last nine years I have been organising Regiment reunions and fund-raising in every way I could, from selling t-shirts to organising events and, this year, by making it one of my Mayor's charities.

"Regiment heritage is really important to me, not least because the Regiment's first depot was here in Grantham. The last donation was a cheque for £10,000, but I am hoping it won't be the last.

"I was effectively a cold war soldier, at a time when military decorations were few and far between, so this commendation is the equivalent of a medal for me. I was surprised and thrilled when I heard what the Regiment was planning and absolutely delighted with both the reception I got, and the superb, framed commendation."

The RAF Regiment is a specialist corps founded by Royal Warrant in 1942 to defend RAF bases and overseas air operations.

 

1.      Cllr Dean Ward presented with his commendation by Group Captain Piers Holland MBE

2.      Cllr Dean Ward with his latest donation and Bill Espie, Regiment Heritage Centre tour guide

3.      Cllr Dean Ward's Commendation