A former Royal Navy Warfare Officer from Coed-y-Brenin, Dolgellau, marched alongside 10,000 others during the Cenotaph Service on Remembrance Sunday as part of the largest ever group of veterans supported by Help for Heroes.
Sarah Hattle, 41, served for 21 years until July 2021 and was the Royal Navy’s ceremonial officer for the late Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations and the Remembrance commemorations in November 2016.
Speaking before the march, Sarah said: “Taking part in the national commemorations at the Cenotaph is a huge privilege.
“When I led the Royal Navy’s contribution in 2016, I was unsure how emotional the experience would be.
“It didn’t really hit me until the Parachute Regiment Association marched past in their iconic maroon berets. My late Grandad was in the Parachute Regiment, and I suddenly felt overwhelmed.
“This will be the first year I have taken part as a veteran myself.”
Sarah is now a project manager at Help for Heroes which has been supporting members of the Armed Forces community to live well after service for 15 years.
In that time, the military charity has helped over 27,000 veterans and their families.
She works with veterans across Wales, helping them manage social isolation and loneliness, and marched alongside some of the veterans she has supported at this year’s Cenotaph Service.
“Taking part this year is particularly special as I will be part of the Help for Heroes contingent,” Sarah said.
“I’ve worked with a few of the veterans who will be marching. It is such a privilege being part of their recovery journey. It is going to be a real honour marching alongside them.
“Remembrance isn’t just about honouring our war dead. Obviously, it is important to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice but for me it is just as important to remember those who are still living with injuries from their military service.
“There are so many veterans living with physical and mental injuries who need our support. We have to keep this at the forefront of our minds.”
Sarah joined more than 20 other veterans from Help for Heroes wearing distinctive tri-service colours when they marched in the national Remembrance Sunday ceremony, held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London.
“I really hope by marching as part of the Help for Heroes contingent I will be helping remind people that the charity is here and we are able to help,” Sarah added.
Find out how Help for Heroes can help the Armed Forces community live well after service https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-help/ask-for-help/