Monthly Archives: April 2012

Centenary Birthday Celebrations 21st April 2012

Royal Tunbridge Wells Corps


Lt. Col. Eileen Thomas

A capacity audience attended an evening of music to commemmorate the 100th birthday of Lt. Col. Eileen Thomas. The suprise event – organised by members of Colonel’s family – was supported by the South London Fellowship Band under the leadership of Major George Whittingham, with special invited guests Nigel Parrington (Chief Executive, Salvation Army Housing Association), Major James Williams (Retired Officers Secretary, THQ) and Lt. Colonels Anthony and Gillian Cotterill (Divisional Commanders, London South-East).

The band provided a varied and delightful programme of music, starting with the rousing march ‘The Witness’ in recognition of the Witness session from which Lt. Col. Thomas was commissioned in 1934. The band further contributed Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’, ‘Songs of the Morning’ and ‘I’ll Walk with God’.

The band also presented a strong repertoire of solo items, including ‘Zelda’ (Daryl Scholes, Cornet), Mozart’s ‘4th Horn Concerto’ (Roger Gadsden, Horn) and ‘Ransomed’ (Ken Bonsor-Ward, Euphonium) – all of which were very well received.

Vocal items included soloist Les Swift with ‘You Raise Me Up’ and band vocal items ‘Sound the Battle Cry’ and ‘Rock of Ages’, the latter of which brought particular blessing.

Audience participation was encouraged with Congregational Songs ‘Lord for the Years’ and ‘God’s Soldier’ and the band’s presentation of ‘A Glenn Miller Collection’.

The bible reading and thought was presented by Roger Gadsden and he reviewed how much the world has changed over the last 100 years but reminded us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. A tribute was presented by Nigel Parrington, Chief Executive, Salvation Army Housing Association and Major James Williams (Retired Officers Secretary, THQ) extended words of congratulations on behalf of the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner Barry Swanson) and the Territorial Commander (Commissioner John Matear).

The highlight of the evening was Lt. Col. Thomas giving humbling words of thanks and expressing her joy at how much God has blessed her so much in her life and how much she continues to be blessed each and every day.

An appeal was made by Major Williams in aid of the continuing hard work at Sunset Lodge and Charles Court and £770 was raised from the evening’s collection.

Report by Chris Hunt (Tunbridge Wells)

The Soloists

These photos and others can be viewed via the following link – – and choose from the list under Sub-albums

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