A SENIOR Oswestry firefighter has spoken of his pride at representing Shropshire at the recent Remembrance Sunday commemorations in London.

James Lewis, watch manager at Oswestry fire station, was selected alongside 43 other firefighters from across the country to stand guard at the cenotaph in Whitehall.

James, 41, has been watch manager in Oswestry for a year, and said his selection was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him.

And he added that despite the huge media attention and years of tradition, he did not feel nervous and was delighted to celebrate the occasion with his family.


“It was for the Remembrance Day parade at the cenotaph in Whitehall in London,” said James, who has been a firefighter for 20 years.

“There was one person picked to present each of the 44 fire services in the UK and I was picked for Shropshire.

“It was the same for the police and other services as well.

“We stood on parade while the ceremony took place and we also went along to march.

“I’m extremely proud to have been asked and I was very lucky that it was me.

“To be asked and to go there was a once in a career opportunity and I’ll never be asked to do it again.

“It was just so proud for my family to be able to see it.

“I wasn’t nervous about it all as we did the training the day before and we also did foot practice at a station in Lambeth.

“We knew the world’s media would have their cameras on us but I was really happy I did it.

“We had some family time in London the day before – we went for a meal but then I had to break off from them and stay in a hotel on my own.

“I was in bed for 10pm, couldn’t have a beer because I had to be up and checked out for 6am – but it was all for the right reasons.

“It was also a really proud moment to see all the veterans taking part in the parade.”

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A Home Office spokesman praised the dedication of James and his fellow civilian officers.

They said: “I sincerely hope you enjoyed the whole weekend. 

"I wanted to let you all know that from our perspective and from feedback on the day, the parade went extremely well. 

"Without your dedication and commitment, the contingent would not be the event or success it is."