BRIAN Mayers admitted it took “a lot of arm twisting” to persuade the authorities to let him be a standard bearer at the Royal Albert Hall for the Royal British Legion’s annual service of remembrance.
The 36-year-old from Carrbrook will parade the standard for the Stalybridge and Dukinfield branch of the RBL – the first time they have ever been afforded the honour.
Brian added it will be extra special this year as it is the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Brian, who only became the branch’s standard bearer for the branch little more than 12 months ago, explained: “The whole of Cheshire usually only gets a couple of places, and one always goes to Cheshire county.
“This year they have three which will be Cheshire, Middlewich and Stalybridge and Dukinfield.
“It took a lot of arm twisting and convincing for Stalybridge and Dukinfield to get a place.”
Brian was put forward from his branch and had to go through selection procedures before his place was confirmed.
It will be a busy weekend as Brian will return home in the early hours of Sunday, November 11 to take part in the Stalybridge parade and service.
Brian, a former pupil at St Raphael’s, Millbrook, and All Saints RC High School, Dukinfield, succeeded standard bearer John Rees who was forced to stand down through ill health.
He says he had to undergo six training sessions before his position was confirmed.
Brian, a class one HGV lorry driver, served seven years in the Territorial Army based in Manchester with 103 Regiment Royal Artillery and four years with the Military Provost Guard Service.
Frank Smith, secretary of the Stalybridge and Dukinfield branch of the RBL, added it is a great honour to be represented at the Royal Albert Hall.
• Stalybridge Band is holding a special concert at Stalybridge Civic Hall on Saturday, November 10 to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.
It starts at 8pm and tickets priced £5 will be available on the door.