Festival of Remembrance honour for Chapel-en-le-Frith war veteran

President of the Chapel branch of the Royal British Legion, Derek Eley, is heading to London with the branch's standard bearer Alan Tideswell to take part in the Remembrance commemorations.
President of the Chapel branch of the Royal British Legion, Derek Eley, is heading to London with the branch's standard bearer Alan Tideswell to take part in the Remembrance commemorations.

A Second World War veteran from Chapel-en-le-Frith has been invited to attend The Festival of Remembrance in London.

Derek Eley, who will turn 100 in November, will be making the journey with Alan Tideswell, from the Chapel-en-le-Frith branch of the Royal British Legion, who has also been invited to take part in the ceremony.

Derek is the branch’s current president, but has been a member of the Royal British Legion since 1945. Over the years he has held every position within the branch, along with selling poppies and helping out with fundraising.

The former colour sergeant, who was honoured with a British Empire Medal by King George VI for his work in the Mediterranean, signed up in May 1939 as part of the Sherwood Foresters regiment.

He is excited about the prospect of going to London - on a previous visit he used his bus pass as identification to walk along Downing Street and was even invited into Number 10.

Alan, the branch’s current standard bearer, served in the Royal Navy for 16 years.

He said: “It is a privilege and an honour to be asked.”

Both men will also be taking part in the televised cenotaph parade on Remembrance Sunday, November 12.

Secretary of the Chapel branch, Sally Tideswell, said: “Chapel-en-le-Frith is proud to have such a wonderful gentleman like Derek around and many will be looking out for him on the TV.”

This year Derek will also be selling poppies in supermarkets across the area.