‘Veterans’ champion’ for WW1 centenary commemorations

By on 28/03/2013 in News

Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anita Ward, has been appointed 'veterans' champion' for the city's WW1 centenary commemorations.

Approved by the city council's cabinet earlier this week, Leader Sir Albert Bore said: “The appointment of Cllr Anita Ward appeared entirely appropriate in light of her existing role as President of Birmingham Royal British Legion.”

Discussions are underway within the city council and with partners to consider accessing national funds to deliver a programme of activity across Birmingham that marks significant dates of WW1, with an approach that is both educational and inclusive to all.

Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Ward, said: “Being appointed to the role of 'veterans' champion' this week was not only a welcome surprise but also fairly poignant as my son, who is an Irish Guard, has just returned for a tour of duty in Afghanistan. My father also served in the Coldstream Guards, so the armed services are very close to my heart.

“Hopefully this is reflected in my role as president for the British Legion in the city and that this will also help me deliver a meaningful and sensitive programme of community events to commemorate those who lost their lives 100 years ago.”

Cllr Ward added that she was also proud, as Lord Mayor last year, to have signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant and that Birmingham City Council was one of the first local authorities to do so.

The covenant aims to build a symbiotic relationship where the military draws support from the community, and in return, the forces offer their skills to benefit local people.  It also involves charities and voluntary organisations in the city.

Notes to editors

1. The Government has already announced £50m to support the centenary, with a focus on local activities and delivering a cultural and educational legacy for young people.

2. The Royal British Legion, which is working closely with Government and other stakeholders on the national plans, maintains the tone will be one of commemoration rather than celebration and that centenary activities will be available to all. The legion's regional and local branches will support the national activities and also develop their own ideas for involvement.

3. The Deputy Lord Mayor's son, Lance Sergeant Vince Hockley, currently serves with 1st Battalion Irish Guards and was previously injured in Afghanistan.

For further information contact the press office on 0121 303 3287

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  1. David says:

    “Veterans” champion? How many people who fought in the first world war are still alive?

    Silly title aside, I find it amazing that £50m is being found for this when services are being cut left, right and centre. I fully respect what the soldiers did to give us our freedoms, but this sort of spending is silly, and (like this appointment) something that I think is politically motivated.