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Community Cadets honour veterans with D-Day commemorative poem


Compassion in Action (CIA) Community Cadets paid tribute to the borough’s veterans on the 75th anniversary of D-Day – dedicating a moving poem of thanks to our heroes.

The young people, who meet weekly on Monday evenings at Patrick House, worked together to compose the verse, which begins:


There are not words big enough,

There is not a hug strong enough,

There is not a smile wide enough,

All we can offer is ‘thank you’.


The poem was written in a handmade card and read aloud to the veterans by our Chief Executive Pam Gilligan, who said: “I am so proud of our young people and their understanding and compassion for our veterans. We have opened the doors of Patrick House to people of both generations and built a bridge that unites them.

‘Our veterans have valuable lessons to teach our cadets about service, sacrifice, comradeship and having a shared purpose in the interest of others. Equally important is for our veterans to see that they are valued by the youngest members of their community.”

The card was presented to local veterans during our commemorative D-Day lunch, which marked the largest combined land, air and naval operation in history.

Earlier that day, members of The Royal British Legion (RBL) had attended Tyldesley Cemetery – honouring the 156,000 Allied troops who landed on Normandy’s beaches.

Second World War veteran Ken Preter, who served with the Royal Marines, placed the tribute at the War Memorial.

The group then retired to Patrick House, where they have met weekly every Thursday for brunch since October 2015. Our Catering Manager Alison Prescott  organised a specially-designed commemorative cake which the veterans enjoyed.

RBL member Keith Stott said: “The group would like to pass on their thanks to all the CIA staff who always make them very welcome at the weekly get-together. Our special thanks go to the Community Cadets for their very kind words and hard work, which is greatly appreciated. On behalf of The Royal British Legion, thank you for all your support that you offer to the Armed Forces family and the local community.”

CIA signed the Armed Forces Covenant in February – formalising our ongoing commitment to treat local ex-servicepeople and their families with fairness and respect.

For enquiries about the veterans’ brunch, telephone 01942 262636.