Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Croydon

Colonel Ray Wilkinson QVRM TD DL VR

Appointed Rep DL: 2019col-ray

A former Territorial Army and Army Reserve Officer, Ray’s service included the command of 71st (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment, which has a sub unit based within the Borough of Croydon; he was the regiment’s Honorary Colonel up until February 2022.  He has spent most of his career in the field of operations management and business performance improvement, living and working in the Borough of Croydon for 13 years.

He has served in numerous third sector voluntary appointments for nearly thirty years including being the Chair of Working with Words, a Social Enterprise producing accessible information for people with learning difficulties based in Woolwich, Governor of the Sir William Boreman Trust, a grant making trust for young people in Lewisham and Greenwich, Trustee of MCCH Society, a large social care provider for vulnerable people s based in and around London and the South East, and Vice Chair of Zetetick Housing, a charity providing specialist housing primarily for residents with learning disabilities within the Borough of Croydon and in East Sussex.

Ray is a Freeman of the City of London and Liveryman of The Drapers Company.  He is married to Elizabeth, a retired Hospital Play Therapist, and they have two adult sons and a growing number of grandchildren.

Further information about the London Borough of Croydon can be found at

November 2023

The annual Armistice Day ceremony and Remembrance Day church service and parade took place the weekend of 11-12 November.  Both events were extremely well attended by a wide range of organisations and members of the community.



Colonel Wilkinson also attended the Multi Faith Awards and visited 14 Coy ACF on weekend training at Frimley Cadet Training Centre

At the end of November Colonel Wilkinson had the great privilege of making the KAE Presentation to one of Croydon’s local companies, Montybojangles, which make excellent chocolate. 

September 2023

There were numerous events related to the awful stabbing of Elianne Andam and a community Knife Crime Meeting, hosted by the Executive Mayor and Local MP including attendance by AC Louisa Rolfe OBE, was most notable.


 Colonel Wilkinson attended the LMA Service at Westminster Abbey, co-hosted the Mayor’s Citizens’ Awards, and visited the Sadaqah Project Soup Kitchen at Croydon Mosque & Islamic Centre.

June 2023

This month saw the YOU Challenge, the Bishop of Croydon’s Windrush Dinner marking the 75th anniversary of Windrush and also celebrating 75 years of the NHS.  It also saw the beginning of Armed Forces Week with the Armed Forces Flag Raising outside the Town Hall.

Coronation Events – May 2023

A very busy month that saw  a range of Coronation Events that included: a Dementia Café Cake Party, a Bangladesh Culture Event, an Asian Vegetarian Society Celebration, an Amberley Care Home Tea Party, and a Minster Celebratory Service.


Domestic Abuse Event – March 2023

A Domestic Abuse Event at Portcullis House hosted by the MP for Croydon Central on behalf of Andrea Aviet BEM was attended. A prime guest was Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe OBE. The Launch Event for the London Borough of Culture, hosted by the Executive Mayor of Croydon, was also attended.

2023 : Croydon – the London Borough of Culture

January 2023 heralded the the launch of Croydon’s term as the London Borough of Culture celebrating its extremely rich cultural heritage.  In February Croydon hosted International Language Day celebrations , with over 100 languages spoken Croydon is one of the most diverse Boroughs in London.

YOU Croydon Challenge – 9th May 2022

Over 100 young people from nine different youth organisations in The London Borough of Croydon took part in the YOU Croydon Challenge on Sunday 8th May at Royal Russell School.

The young people were all members of the Boys’ Brigade, Combined Cadet Force, Girls’ Brigade, Girlguiding, RAF Air Cadets, Scouts, Sea Cadets, St John Ambulance or Volunteer Police Cadets.  Split up into mixed syndicates, they took part in a series of challenges designed to develop their teamwork, communication and leadership skills.

The event was organised by the Volunteer Police Cadets in conjunction with Royal Russell School’s CCF on behalf of the Representative Deputy Lieutenant of The London Borough of Croydon, Colonel Ray Wilkinson, who Chairs YOU Croydon.  YOU stands for ‘Youth Organisations in Uniform’ and is a partnership of uniformed youth groups working together to support and learn from each other locally. Working together can take many forms, from sharing instructors, activities or facilities to taking part in joint events.  The aim is an output greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon Central and Shadow Minister for Policing and the Fire Service; Councillor Sherwan Chowdhury, Civic Mayor of Croydon; and DCI Lewis Collins from the Metropolitan Police Service took time out of their busy diaries to visit the event.

After presenting YOU London pin badges to all participants and congratulating the winning khaki team, Colonel Wilkinson said: “Well done to all participants – you have worked hard today to complete some tough challenges.  I especially want to thank the adult volunteers who go out of their way to do so much for their local community – these things simply don’t happen without them.”

The Representative Deputy Lieutenant of the London Borough of Croydon attended the YOU Challenge Event at the Royal Russell School on the 22nd June 2019.


The Representative Deputy Lieutenant of the London Borough of Croydon attending the Deputy Lieutenant Awards Evening with presentations made by the Mayor of Croydon on the 17th July.


On the 21st September the Representative Deputy Lieutenant of  the London Borough of Croydon attended the display of Paratroopers dropping on Ginkel Heath, Holland as part of the Arnhem 75 Commemoration with the Mayor of Croydon (Croydon is twinned with Arnhem)


On the 23rd September the Representative Deputy Lieutenant of the London Borough of Croydon attended the Jack Petchey Awards to Croydon Girl Guides with the Mayor of Croydon.

The Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards 2019 for Girlguiding Croydon in the presence of The Worshipful, the Mayor of Croydon Cllr. Humayan Kabir. At The BRIT School on Monday 23rd September 2019.The Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards 2019 for Girlguiding Croydon in the presence of The Worshipful, the Mayor of Croydon Cllr. Humayan Kabir. At The BRIT School on Monday 23rd September 2019.

The Annual George Knowland Awards took place at Elmwood Junior School, Croydon, on the 30th January 2020.  Lt George Knowland VC, was a former student of the school and each year two members of the school are presented with a Certificate of Merit, in his name, recognising their personal example and contribution to the school.  Veterans of the Commando Association and two Chelsea Pensioners attended along with other guests including the Representative Deputy Lieutenant of Croydon.


On March 15th, just prior to the Coronavirus Lockdown, the Representative Deputy Lieutenant of Croydon was privileged to attend the Installation Service of the Arch Deacon of Croydon, the Rev Canon Dr Rosemarie Mallett, at Southwark Cathedral.  She was installed by the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, with the Bishop of Croydon, Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, in attendance.  In spite of the difficult circumstances a large number of the new Arch Deacon’s family, friends, and supporters were on hand to wish her well in her new appointmenrt.


VE Day 75 Commemoration

In addition to Croydon’s virtual church service commemorating VE Day 75, as part of which the Mayor and the Representative Deputy Lieutenant of Croydon were honoured to play a part, and pleased to be able to help out with the loading and distribution of ‘Goody Bags’ to 100 veterans throughout the Borough.  The exercise was organised by the Croydon Commitment ably supported by the Croydon Volunteer Action centre.  Local Army Reservists from C Squadron the Royal Yeomanry and Mortar Platoon 4th Battalion the Parachute Regiment, based in Mitcham Road Barracks, Croydon were able to assist.


On the 20th June the Representative Deputy Lieutenant of the London Borough of Croydon was able to witness and thank the various Army Reservist contributors for their very hard pro bono work in voluntarily obtaining the equipment and material to produce Full Face Visors PPE.  In their spare time they have been producing that PPE for several months now and it has been distributed free of charge to local care homes in the Borough of Croydon.  On 20 June the national logistics team from St John Ambulance collected 3,000 of these Full Face Visors PPE from 31 (Middlesex Yeomanry & Princess Louise’s Kensington) Signal Squadron in Coulsdon for use by St John Ambulance personnel working in support of the NHS throughout the UK.

St John Ambulance (1) St John Ambulance (2) St John Ambulance (3)

On the 22nd June the Representative Deputy Lieutenant of the London Borough of Croydon took part in a reduced and socially distanced Flag Raising Ceremony to mark the start of Armed Forces Week within the Borough of Croydon on 22 June.  The Mayor, Councillor Humayan Kabir, the Shadow Leader of the Council, Councillor Tim Pollard, and the Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Tony Letts OBE, were amongst those who attended.

Flag Raising (Croydon)

At its virtual Annual Meeting on 6 July the Council elected Councillor Maddie Henson to serve as Mayor of Croydon for 2020-2021. The Deputy Mayor is Councillor Sherwan Chowdhury.A Croydonian by birth, The Mayor has been involved in local politics for many years and was first elected a Councillor in 2014.

Virtual ANnual Meeting (Croydon)

The Representative Deputy Lieutenant of the London Borough of Croydon  was privileged to make the concluding speech in the new Mayor’s first major military related engagement on 14 August to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.  Unfortunately the age and vulnerable health of our World War 2 Veterans didn’t allow any of them to take part in the ceremony but two veterans from the Croydon Branch of the Parachute Regiment Association were able to attend.  One of those veterans was Peter Galloway, aged 87, who had served with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in the Korean War before transferring to the Parachute Regiment and serving in the Middle East and during the Suez campaign.  During the ceremony Peter carried the Standard of the Korean War Veterans’ Association.

VJ Day - Croydon

On the 17th April, Croydon Council held a one-minute silence in memory of His late Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. In attendance was The Mayor of Croydon, Cllr Maddie Henson,  the Representative Deputy Lieutenant of Croydon, Colonel Ray Wilkinson,  Chief Executive, Katherine Kerswell, Leader of the Council, Cllr Hamida Ali and Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Jason Perry.

The Representative Deputy Lieutenant of Croydon, Colonel Ray Wilkinson,  presented a QAE award for innovation to SLE Ltd, on 15 September 2021.