In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place
On a sombre mid-November morning, we take the time as a nation to commemorate and celebrate those who’ve given their lives and livelihoods in the service of this country. We’re reminded of the darkest hours and the pain, the shining rays of hope that gave rise to so much, and the glimmering bravery of the men and women who’ve served our nation.
We take the time with poppies and wreaths, in a gesture that’s typically said to symbolise the bloodshed and battlefields of both modern conflicts and those of yesteryear. It’s a way for each and every one of us to connect with Britain’s storied history, and the courageous, selfless people who lost their lives in defence of that.
When you go home, tell them of us and say. For your tomorrow, we gave our today.
It’s a period that warrants considerable reflection, both internally and on the world as a whole, and that manifests a newfound respect and admiration for an often overlooked section of our society.
At Churchill Support Services, this is naturally something we’re exceptionally passionate about for a multitude of reasons. We’ve long been partners with the Armed Forces Covenant as a Bronze member, a charitable organisation committed to connecting ex-servicepeople with opportunities and initiatives designed to help them integrate back into civilian life.
Those who’ve served with the military – whether that’s as part of the Army, the RAF, or the Royal Navy – all possess the characteristics, the drive and the passion to be exceptional in the security field.
We’re extremely proud to already have that represented close to home by our in-house team, and further afield on our sites and projects. But, as honoured as we are to be working with those who’ve played a pivotal in the country’s defences, it only means so much coming from us.
We’ve taken the time to speak to just a few of our esteemed colleagues who’ve served in active duty, and got their stories about what that’s meant for them, their individual journeys, and what a future with a People First company looks like.
Chief among these is our National Events and Projects Manager, John Gregory. He served in the Royal Green Jackets, joining the military at 16. Completing his Phase 1 training at Winchester, he moved to the base at Catterick for Phase 2 training. John took up a position as a rifleman in the 1st Battalion at Wheaton Barracks, before injury led him to take a much-deserved leave from the RGJs.
Thus began his more recent foray into the civilian world. His expertise and comprehensive understanding of what it takes to be a conscientious and strong leader meant he saw a meteoric rise in security to the position he finds himself in today. Speaking to him, he reflected on the journey he’s been on:
“Security always seemed the best fit for my skillset. It meant I could use the expertise I’d built up in the Royal Green Jackets and on the frontline. I’m not the only one to do this, and I’ve seen firsthand how security fits into life after the military.”
He also spoke on the importance of the Remembrance weekend, the role it plays in commemorating those who’ve served and their families, and how it ensures we stay in touch with the past that’s shaped this country into what it is today:
“For me, it’s all about remembering those who’ve been and gone – friends, brothers, people you build a bond and a relationship with. Every one of them gave everything they had, and it’s an opportunity to thank them and remember them and their sacrifice.
There’s an image that’s stuck with me for years now, and it talks about how those who’ve lost their lives never got the chance to become fathers, and it’s something that really resonates with me. Remembrance Day is a chance to remember those who’ve given everything, and ensured that everyone else didn’t have to.”
While our other colleagues with military expertise may not have been mentioned by name here, they’re an integral cog in what makes Churchill Support Services a well-oiled, efficient machine. We take the time today, and every day with our ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, to offer a sincere thanks to those who’ve served.
Churchill remembers the sacrifices, the selflessness and the sheer will and determination that’s needed to offer yourself in the line of duty. We reflect on the tragedy and the resolve, the grim grit and steeled will that’s needed to see out active duty, and the light at the end of the tunnel that our service personnel worked tirelessly to reach for all of us.
From every single one of us, thank you.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.