Volunteering to help the troops!
Two pupils from St Benedict’s had a unique insight into the complex preparations for the state funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II, when they volunteered to help on the eve of the event.
Shaan (Lower 4/Year 8) and his brother Jai (Form 2/Year 6) helped to prepare and distribute food to some of the 1500 British Armed Forces troop members stationed in central London to guard and patrol the areas around Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.
We felt very humbled and lucky to be there supporting all the troops from different regiments from across the country.
The troops had been staying in offices near St James's Park, which was their base in London for around 10 days. “My brother Jai and I arrived with my parents on the eve of the funeral at around 3pm,” said Shaan. “We met a Sergeant Major named Mick who was in charge of the troops' wellbeing during their mission and was the person we were taking our instructions from for the day and evening.”
It wasn’t long before the boys were put to work, as Shaan explains: “Our first task was to put all the hot food in the ovens to warm up for the troops We also helped pack the meal bags for the troops to take out with them. Then we waited a bit, talked to the Army, Navy, and Air Force members, and helped get the drinks and chocolate brownies ready. At around 7pm most of the troops came to get their packed meals for their shifts. In their packed meals there was a lot of food to keep them going and we also handed out the brownies. We felt very humbled and lucky to be there supporting all the troops from different regiments from across the country. At around 10pm we said goodbye to the Sergeant Major and the troops and made our way home.”
Well done, boys! We are very proud that you stepped up to play a useful role in this momentous event.