Armed forces fall in for St Albans primary school assembly

Sgt Patrick Slaney shows Garden Fields year 4 pupils the field ambulance used by the army.

Sgt Patrick Slaney shows Garden Fields year 4 pupils the field ambulance used by the army. - Credit: Archant

Members of the armed forces awarded prizes at a primary school assembly and showed pupils around a battlefield ambulance.

Representatives from HMS St Albans, 254 Medical Regiment and Herts County Council attended the assembly and spoke to pupils at Garden Fields School in St Albans on Monday, January 30.

The assembly was introduced by cllr Teresa Heritage, chair of Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board, who spoke about her role. Petty Officer Bethany Burton, from HMS St Albans, told pupils about the ship and presented a plaque to headteacher Andrew Farrugia.

Year 4 pupils Zoe Power and Charlotte Durndall were announced as the winners of the county-wide HMS St Albans art competition, organised by the Armed Forces Covenant Board. The competition was to design a poster sending Christmas messages to an armed forces unit serving away from home during the holidays.

Petty Officer Burton said: “Being away from our families at Christmas can be hard, so to have all of this wonderful art and seasonal greetings was a real boost for everyone on board.”

Kevin Carroll, representing Herts county council’s highways contractor Ringway, which sponsored the competition, announced the winners and presented the girls with trophies. He also presented gift vouchers for the school.

He said: “It was wonderful to see the fantastic artwork that all of the schools produced, and how much the armed forces units appreciated it.

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“It is a privilege to help develop links between our local armed forces and the community.”

Finally, pupils had a Q and A session with Capt Jonathan Heffernan and Sgt Patrick Slaney, of 254 Medical Regiment, who showed them the battlefield ambulance and told them about its role.

Deputy headteacher Michelle Cole said: “The girls were beaming with pride and our school community is incredibly proud of their success in the competition.”