James Raines, of Wales, left his Territorial Army position without a proper goodbye, so his bride, Michelle Watkinson, arranged to have a special memento delivered to Raines at his wedding. Raines, who had served as an engineer with the 101 Engineer Regiment, worked as a bomb disposal officer during his years of service with the TA, but missed out on the customary formal sendoff when members of the regiment retire. He confided to his bride-to-be that missing out on the formal sendoff was one of his greatest disappointments, since he relished his time in the TA.
Ms. Watkinson contacted the Reserves Forces and Cadets Association and explained what she was looking for. The group went to work and found a solid brass shell casing from a field gun that could be engraved to recognise Raines’ years of service to the TA.
Captain Jayne Hemmings, of the TA, surprised Raines at his wedding reception when she presented him with the shell casing and spoke to the guests about Mr. Raines’ achievements while in service. Many of the couple’s guests served in the TA or are currently serving there, and having them on hand while Captain Hemmings made the presentation capped a very special day for the couple.