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9 November 2023 | Comment | Article by Simon Ellis

Reflecting on Remembrance Day 2023


This Remembrance Day, we asked two Hugh James staff members, Simon Cordell and Ben Fletcher, to reflect on what it means to them…

Reflecting on Remembrance Day 2023

Simon’s Story

Simon Cordell, Operations Manager in our Military team served in the Infantry and subsequent specialist units for 29 years, spending nine years on operations. Simon’s grandfathers were in the army in WW2 and his uncle was in the Royal Marines. Simon’s partner was heavily involved with the Army Cadet Force for many years and her son also served in the army. Simon left the army 11 years ago.

What does Remembrance Day mean to you?

On Remembrance Day I use the opportunity to gather with other veterans and remember not only our friends who did not return from operations, but all the service personnel who could not come home to their families or who have returned injured. I also think of those who lost their battles with demons after leaving the conflict areas and never finding peace.

Whilst many fallen comrades are in my thoughts daily; Remembrance Day allows the opportunity to reflect specifically on their courage and commitment and to ensure they live on through our memories. It is an annual reminder to continue to aspire to live life to their standard and example; the life that they have been denied.

Ben’s story

Ben Fletcher is a Paralegal in our Military team. Although he doesn’t come from a traditional military family, Ben has a long-standing interest in the armed forces and was eager to be involved, even if it didn’t include a full-time career in the services.

Ben was an army cadet for four years as a teenager and went on to spend three years in the Wales University Officers’ Training Corps (WUOTC) as a student in Cardiff. He’s now looking for a change and is in the process of transferring to become a proper Reservist in 104 Regiment Royal Artillery.

What does Remembrance Day mean to you?

Even though I’m still rather new to service, Remembrance Day has always been a reflective experience for me.  Of particular personal significance is when I think of those even younger than me who never had the opportunities I have enjoyed and had their lives cut short or irrecoverably damaged.

Participation in the WUOTC was always enjoyable but often felt disconnected from experiences my friends and peers could relate to, however, Remembrance Day is unique in that it has relevance and emotional significance for a great many people outside the armed forces and its affiliated organisations.

It has always been a powerful and privileged experience to participate in Remembrance services and events over the years.  Such events really make you appreciate the value in continuing a worthy tradition and giving the fallen and their families the respect and dignity they may not have received in life, but most certainly deserved.

Author bio

Simon Ellis is a Partner with Hugh James and has worked with the firm for more than 25 years, having trained and qualified here. Simon heads up the Military Department, advising and assisting current and former military personnel with various health conditions and injuries. He specialises in claims such as hearing loss, non-freezing cold injuries, compartment syndrome and military injury cases. He is often asked to advise on more unusual claims in the military context.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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