Junior Soldiers (JS) from Harrogate’s Army Foundation College (AFC) acted as gardeners to help launch the Queen’s Green Canopy, a campaign to plant trees to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee next year.
The choice of tree planted at Harrogate is particularly poignant given that Magnolias are native to Asia.
This serves as a fitting tribute to Captain Tom, Honorary Colonel of the College before his sad passing, who served in India and Burma during World War Two.
It makes me proud to know that I am a part of this JS Michael Oates
JS Michael Oates said: “I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been a new experience for me and it’s ace. Captain Tom was born in the same place, and went to the same school, as my mum, who has passed away. So, it’s good to see someone from a place close to me.
“Planting trees and helping the environment is really good. It makes me proud to know that I am a part of this.”
The Queen’s Green Canopy will encourage the planting of trees to create a legacy in honour of HM The Queen’s leadership of the nation, which will benefit future generations.
It will help everyone to learn more about the best way to plant trees so that greenery can survive and flourish for years to come.
Staff at the AFC, which trains teenage recruits, will continue to work on the site by adding memorials honouring Captain Tom in the coming weeks.
Helping the environment makes the world a better place JS James Willis
JS James Willis said: “Captain Tom was a very strong individual. He was a 100-year-old man; if he can get up in the morning and raise money towards such a cause, I think I can get out of bed at 6 o’clock and do what I need to do [in training].
“We need to plant trees because of pollution and helping the environment makes the world a better place. I am quite proud, and grateful, to get chosen to plant a tree for the Queen and the Jubilee.”
While these recruits will soon move on to start their promising careers, the trees they have planted will serve as a permanent reminder to their hard work and the values of the British Army.