The Queen Victoria Pub was the fitting venue for a party on Saturday the 11th of June to celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.
The pub was packed with local expats and their wives and partners, and a hefty contingent from the branch of the Royal British Legion Thailand. The event was also a welcome return for the Gurkhas and their delicious homemade curries.
The official proceedings got underway with a short speech by the Secretary and Welfare Chairman of the Royal British Legion Thailand Bert Elson who presented Richard Holmes with a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Royal British Legion Thailand as Richard has been their Standard Bearer since 2008.
Ron Smith was also presented with a certificate for the great work he does heading up the poppy appeal and acting as a case worker with the veterans here in Pattaya as the Royal British Legions Thailand main focus is the welfare of those who have served, are serving, and or their dependents.
Colonel Chris Luckham, Assistant Defence Attaché, then gave a short speech which was followed by the royal toast and the UK National anthem.
The Gurkha Guards from the British Embassy, including Sgt Major Haring Lal Pun, provided four delicious curries to all in attendance. This was followed when five members of the Welsh Guards, accompanied by Flight Sgt Tam McDonald, played a few military tunes in remembrance of those who had fallen.
George Barrie, a founder member of the RBL Thailand, acted as the auctioneer for a limited edition Somme 100 poppy pin which commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by so many individuals during the Battle of the Somme.
Only 19,240 limited edition pins have been made – the same number of soldiers killed on the first day of the battle. Each pin comes with a certificate featuring details of the individual soldier it commemorates.
This year, 1 July marks 100 years since the start of the First World War’s bloodiest battle, which lasted until 18 November 1916 and claimed the lives or injured more than one million men. The intricate golden pins are made from the brass of melted down bullet shells found on the Somme battlefields and feature a prominent red centre, the paint for which has been mixed with soil from the same fields. The winning bidder was Martin Coxan who generously paid 10,000 for this collector’s item, with proceeds going to the poppy appeal.
Further music was provided by Barry Upton who played a lively set of songs originating from Blighty.
This was great day in Pattaya, one that everyone thoroughly enjoyed and a fitting way to honour the UK monarch on her 90th birthday. Of course, she was actually born on April the 21st, and it’s believed that the tradition of having a second birthday goes back to the days during the reign of King George II in 1748. King George was born in October but due to the inclement weather, it was decided that a second day would be chosen, in the summer, so that the nation could join in with the celebrations including the Trooping of the colour.
If you would like to find out more about the Royal British Legion in Thailand they have a branch at the Tropical Bar on Soi Khao Noi and also have a website.