Portsmouth veterans club celebrates its first birthday

A VETERANS' support group in Portsmouth has marked its first anniversary '“ with a slap-up breakfast and birthday cake bonanza.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 6:00 am
Tracy Watson cutting the cake with Army, RAF and Royal Navy veterans Picture: Habibur Rahman

Almost a dozen members of the city’s Veterans’ Breakfast Club united to celebrate the milestone.

The group, which meets every month, offers veterans of all ages a chance to socialise and give support and company.

The latest meeting, held at The Sir Alec Rose pub in Port Solent, saw sailors, soldiers and airmen uniting to share tales of their time in the military.

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Sergeant Tracy Watson, of North End, has been with the RAF for almost 28 years and organised the event. She is hoping to boost the club’s numbers.

The 48-year-old, who is based at RAF Odiham, said: ‘Camaraderie is a thing that all the ex-forces people tend to refer back to and is something that they miss in their regular civilian lives.

‘It’s great, the first time that we met, even though none of us knew each other, we were able to bond instantly. We all share that unique military-style of humour.’

The group runs on the third Saturday of every month and has more than 100 members on its Facebook page.

Karin Simmons, 53, of Purbrook, is the club’s newest member.

The dental hygienist – who was a former dental nurse in the RAF for six years, said: ‘I didn’t know anyone and it was quite scary coming down by myself but I knew I’d be all right.

‘The time that we spend with the forces is really special.

‘You always look back on that as a special period of your life. It’s a bond you share with others who have served in the forces.’

Texan Christina Ewing, 45, was in the US Army for eight years, serving in the first Gulf War. She now lives in Old Portsmouth.

She said: ‘I think this is a great idea. Anything that supports veterans is good. We should take pride in our active serving personnel and our veterans.’

For more details about the group see, afvbc.co.uk/psbc-portsmouth-breakfast-club or call 07415 708572.