Military veterans from across Shropshire had a right Royal time as they enjoyed a celebratory tea party at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital to mark the upcoming coronation of King Charles III.

The tea party was held inside the Veterans Hub, which is part of the new state-of-the-art Headley Court Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre the Oswestry-based hospital.

Veterans plus their relatives attended the gathering from all over Shropshire, and surrounding areas. They were treated to tea and cake, with a special quiz and a tour of the impressive simulation lab inside the centre being the crowning glory of the event.

Susan Heer, a volunteer at RJAH for almost 15 years and now a full-time veterans’ volunteer, was overjoyed to see her parents enjoying the celebration to commemorate the King. Susan was raised in a Military environment – her father served 22 years in the Royal Navy, and her grandfather served in the Royal Air Force.

She said: “Growing up I loved military life. The Forces runs through my blood, three of my own children are currently in the Forces. Two serve in the Army, and one in the Navy – I am very proud of them.

“I was delighted my parents were able to attend the tea party. My Dad is now a carer for Mum, and they both made the journey from the Wirral. The Hub is very important for veterans, like my dad, to socialise and avoid isolation.”

Guests enjoyed sandwiches, tea, and cake from the RV Café, run by The League of Friends, situated in the dedicated Veterans’ Hub where Shropshire Council and various military charities provide support to veteran patients, visitors and their family and friends, with issues that range from homelessness, finance, debt management, welfare, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), benefits and more.

Brian Davies, a Radio Operator from Shrewsbury, was a submariner in the Royal Navy. He completed a full service of almost 24 years. Brian is under medical care at the RJAH, and he attended the tea party with his wife, Anne Davies.

Brian said: “Anne and I both found adjusting to civilian life hard, after I left the Navy. Events like today are essential for veterans, to socialise and see the services available to veterans.”

The tea party was funded by RJAH Charity’s Veterans’ Fund and supported by League of Friends RV Café staff who, with veteran volunteers, decorated the hub and entertained everyone on what was a special occasion.

The Veteran’s Hub is multi-purpose and can also be used as a social hub. You don’t need an appointment to visit, the hub is open 9am – 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Sarah Kerr, Armed Forces Outreach Support Officer, said: “It was lovely to see over 29 veterans, their families, and friends come together to celebrate at RJAH, for King Charles III’s Coronation. The tea party kicked off with a King Charles III Quiz, followed by a tour of the simulation lab on the first floor of the brand-new building.

“It is fantastic veterans get to see the outstanding training facilities available at RJAH. Alongside the celebration, our confidential room remained available for any queries.”