The Royal Artillery Association’s Standard (Republic of Ireland Branch) was laid up in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, on Sunday, 6 December after the Choral Evensong.
Ken McLean, the Standard Bearer and Standard Custodian, who is the last surviving member of the Dublin based Association, presented the Standard to Rev Charles Mullen into the care of the Cathedral. Ken is one of the declining number of Irish Veterans from the Second World War. The Standard will be laid-up in the North Wing of the Cathedral.
Founded in 1920, the Royal Artillery Association consists of serving and former personnel who served in the Royal Artillery.
Mr Noel Cullen (Irish Guards) of the Dublin Central Branch of the Royal British Legion coordinated the event and hosted a reception following the ceremony. Noel also kindly provided some background information on 14217550 Gunner Ken McLean, Royal Artillery.
“Having reached his 21st birthday on 27 February 1942, Ken travelled to Belfast with a friend and fulfilled two of his ambitions, to join the British Army and become a Gunner.
Having completed his initial training, his first posting was Coastal Guard in the South of England. From there, he was sent to Scotland for shipping out in a large convoy of 30 ships unaware of his destination. After four weeks at sea, he disembarked in Mombasa, Kenya. Following three months of artillery training, his unit sailed for Ceylon and onward by train, via Calcutta, to the Indian – Burmese border, when his unit, equipped with the 25pdr, was assigned to the 14th Army.
Following that particular campaign, he went, via Egypt, to Austria. As part of the Irish Brigade, Ken was assigned duty guarding German POWs. On demobilisation, Ken returned to Dublin and was employed by an English insurance company.”