Funeral directors have become the first in the profession in the country to sign an Armed Forces Covenant, pledging to give ongoing support for local Armed Forces and their families.
The government published the Armed Forces Covenant in 2011 setting out the relationship between the nation, the armed forces and the government the same year Croydon became the first London borough to sign a Community Covenant.
Steve Rowland, managing director said: “Rowland Brothers have a had a long history with the armed forces – My Great Great Grandfather was Admiral Reed who surveyed the East Coast of South America – his brother Sir Edward James Reed was the Chief Naval Architect for the Royal Navy in the 19th century developing the ironclad ships.
“My Great grandfather died in trenches in France in 1918 – My Grandfather Arthur Rowland served in the deserts of Egypt and survived the battle of El Alamein in 1942 – My Great Uncle Jim Rowland took part in the Normandy Landings in 1944 as a medic and fortunately managed to return home. My father Tony Rowland was a National Service Soldier in 1957 until 1959.
“We now have seven ex-service personal working for the company and are very proud of them and their achievements. They have served in the Grenadier Guards, the Royal Green Jackets, the Royal Corps of Transport, the Royal Military Police, the Royal Army Ordnance corps, the Royal Engineers and the RAF Regiment. They have seen service in the Suez crisis, the Falklands, Kuwait, Iraq, Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Hong Kong.
“All of the ex-military who work with Rowland Brothers are a great asset – they are intelligent, understand the importance of being on time and present themselves to the highest standards.
“They have an affinity and reverence to the fallen servicemen that can only be attained by being in the Military – they organise standard bearers from the deceased’s regiment, the last post, three volleys and motorbike outriders from the British Legion.
“In one instance they also organised for Lord Mountbatten’s gun carriage to carry a fallen sailor to his final resting place. We are very proud of them and their achievements and will always welcome Military into our ranks.”