Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Croydon
Colonel Ray Wilkinson QVRM TD DL VR
Appointed Rep DL: 2019
Colonel Ray Wilkinson is the Chief Executive of East Anglia RFCA, supporting Reserves & Cadets throughout the region on behalf of the MOD, by managing their estate, providing professional support staff to the Cadets, and maintaining links with the civilian community.
He has served in numerous third sector voluntary appointments, mostly with organisations in Greater London, including Working with Words, a Social Enterprise based in Woolwich, the Sir William Boreman Trust, a grant making trust for young people in Lewisham and Greenwich, and MCCH Society, a social care provider with services based in and around London and the South East. He is currently a Trustee of Zetetick Housing, a charity that provides specialist housing for vulnerable people mainly within the Borough of Croydon. A former Territorial Army and Army Reserve Officer he is now privileged to be the Honorary Colonel of 71st (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment, which has sub units in the City, the Borough of Bexley, the Borough of Croydon, the Borough of Hillingdon, the Borough of Waltham Forest, and the County of Essex. 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 two grandchildren.
Further information about the London Borough of Croydon can be found at http://www.croydon.gov.uk/
A group of Year 8 students from the Oasis Academy have been working together to improve their teamwork skills and citizenship knowledge as part of a course provided by CVQO. The group have spent their time learning lifesaving skills, raising over £100 for their chosen charity, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and taking part in a range of adventurous activities such as climbing and abseiling. All students have now achieved a BTEC Level 1 qualification following completion of the course which culminated in a Graduation Ceremony in front of friends and family
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.