Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Speech to British Forces Foundation

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Source: Thatcher MSS: speaking notes
Editorial comments: Lunch.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 296 words
Themes: Defence (general), Voluntary sector & charity



Delighted to welcome you all in my capacity as President of the British Forces Foundation.

Most generous of Richard Shepherd to provide his wonderful restaurant for the occasion.

I hope you will forgive me if I do not stay for the whole of lunch – I have an inescapable but very pleasant duty in the House of Lords this afternoon – the introduction of Charles Powell.

However, I was determined to be here.

Jim Davidson has been tireless in his efforts to entertain British troops, wherever their duties have taken them.

I first remember him at the time of the Falklands War. When we were looking for entertainers to boost the morale of our Armed Forces, Jim was one of the very first to come forward and offer to help.

Since then he has travelled the world. It’s probably safe to say that over the past twenty years, in whatever country our forces have been deployed, Jim has been there!

Most recently he was in the frontline in Kosovo and, in fact, he’s off there again tomorrow.

There is no better time to launch a charity like this. There are currently some 55,000 British Servicemen and women stationed overseas – most of them under the age of 25.

We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for their commitment, bravery and patriotism.

Many of the overseas postings are undertaken in difficult circumstances and mean long periods away from home, and away from their families and friends.

The least we can do is to help boost their morale – and as a result their operational efficiency.