Monday, 2 July 2012

Wes Mullen and Swanage Coastguard

This weekend goes down as one of the most special events the Swanage Coastguard Team have been privileged to be involved in and shows its not all about search and rescue work.

Joining in with the Community is very special and we enjoyed the whole day which had been organised by many people, including the Hospitality Assocation, Mike Ford, Royal British Legion and the Town Council (plus many many more)

Wesley Mullen originally came to Swanage as part of the American 1st Infantry Division (known as the 'Big Red One') in October 1943. He was in the 26th Regiment 2nd Battalion, G Company 2nd Platoon - his role being a rifleman.

68 years later the 26th Regiment Association wished to thank the people of Swanage and with the excellent stone work of local mason Mark Blanchard had a beautiful plaque created.
For his work Mark was presents with an Honourary Membership of the Regiment nicknamed the "Blue Spades"

                Lt General John M Brown (Rtd)     Mark Blanchard         Wes Mullen

On Saturday morning Wes, his two grandsons, Lt. General Brown, and Matt Winter a serving member of the 26th Regiment were brought into Swanage by train just as Wes did 68 years ago.  I had the unique privilege of meeting Wes off the train and walking him down the platform meeting many people as we went.  The party was then met by the Mayor and a short speech was read out which was a copy of the one read out in 1943.  It was then into some jeeps and a couple of laps of the town

Having arrived at the War Memorial by the band stand, a short but moving service saw the plaque dedicated, before jumping back in the jeeps and off to show Wes where he stayed before (Beachways Hotel)
Wes in the actual room he slept in.

Then up to the Grand Hotel for the buffet (well if we could actually get Wes to sit down!) He might be 86 but he wore us out.

With the offically part over we then got asked to take Wes around Swanage and probably the most moving location for me ...the Globe at Durlston.
Wes and his grandsons Larry and Marc

Well done Swanage, yet again you put on a great show for a special visitor.

1 comment:

John B said...

Must have been a moving moment for Wes when he stepped off the train at Swanage and saw all those people to welcome him on the platform. A great day for him to look back on, and for his grandsons.