On 26th April 2018 Bob Davies and ‘Dusty’ Miller our regular Standard bearer, represented the Branch at a service at St Peters Church in Sandwich. The service was held to commemorate the life and service of Lt Col Augustus Charles Newman VC OBE TD DL who died whilst living in Sandwich on this date in 1972, and to unveil in the Church garden a plaque in his memory.
There were nine other Standards present at this event, including the Canterbury RBL Standard carried by former RM Albert Tweedle, wearing his Green Beret, and our local Branch of the RBL carried by Joe De-Zille.
The service was well attended with local dignitaries, Army Cadet groups and representatives from many organisations, which included a representative from the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association, and the officers family, amongst several others, who addressed those gathered in the Church. All then gathered in the garden to watch as the plaque was unveiled.
Lt Col Newman at the age of 37, was CO of the Essex Regiment (TA) attached to No 2 Commando. He was in charge of the military forces, and led his men ashore on Operation ‘Chariot’, the attack on the Dry Dock in St Nazaire, France, and is known in history as ‘The Greatest Raid of All’. After fierce fighting, in which he had inspired his men, and out of ammunition, he and what was left of his men were captured and taken prisoner.
His was one of five VCs awarded that day, two posthumously.
On completion of the event, refreshments were made available in the Guildhall.