HMS Queen Elizabeth
The Company’s affiliation with HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH began in 2012. As the first of the new aircraft carriers, she is the first of the new flagships of the Royal Navy. She weighs a massive 60,000 tons. She has increased survivability as a result of the separation and distribution of power generation machinery throughout the ship. The class has been designed with twin islands, which separates the running of the ship from the flying operations resulting in greater visibility of flying operations.
The highly mechanised weapon handling system enables a streamlined crew to operate a vessel much larger than the carrier which it replaced, meaning that she has a total crew of 679, only increasing to the full complement of 1,600 when the air elements are embarked.
She completed sea trials in 2018 and went on her first 6 month deployment to the US in September 2018. Each year The Grocers' Comapny makes an annual donation to the Ship's welfare fund. Each year the Captain nominates a member of the crew as the recipient of a Grocers’ Medal. The Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding service and is presented by the Master during a lunch at Grocers’ Hall.
The Coldstream Guards
The Company’s affiliation with the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards was formalised in May 2008, although the links between the Regiment and the Company are much older. On 8th February 1660, the Company entertained the founder of the Regiment, General George Monck, at a banquet at Grocers’ Hall when he arrived in the City of London having marched from the town of Coldstream to restore the monarchy. The Company conferred upon him the Honorary Freedom of the Company, as the third recipient of the highest accolade in the Company’s gift. On 28th May 1660, General Monck and Sir Thomas Alleyn, Lord Mayor and Grocer, welcomed Charles II on his return to London and the throne.
The Company and the Regiment continue to share the same noble values of service to others and are jointly proud of their historic ties in an affiliation of mutual interest and support. The Grocers' Company makes an annual donation to the Regiment's welfare fund. Each year the Commanding Officer nominates a member of the Regiment as the recipient of a Grocers’ Medal. The Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding service and is presented by the Master during a lunch at Grocers’ Hall.
On deployment in the Falkland Islands
G Company, 7th Battalion, The Rifles
The Grocers' Company’s longest standing affiliation is with G Company, 7th Battalion Rifles (formerly Royal Green Jackets), a Reserve infantry company based in West Ham, in the heart of the East End of London. G Company’s origins trace back to the London Rifle Volunteer Brigade, which was raised by the Lord Mayor in 1859. At the turn of the last century, the Artists Rifles shared a geographic centre of gravity with the Grocers’ Company in the East End and City of London, which was their recruiting area. Between the Wars, the Grocers’ Company was associated with the Tower Hamlet Rifles.
G Company is an infantry unit recruiting its men and women from around the City of London. Members of G Company mobilised for active service in Iraq in 2005, and 58 members of the Company deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. In 2020 the whole Battalion was deployed for 6 months on duty with the United Nations in Cyprus.
The Grocers' Company makes an annual donation to G Company's welfare fund. Each year the Company Commander nominates a member of the Company as the recipient of a Grocers’ Medal. The Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding service and is presented by the Master during a lunch at Grocers’ Hall.
Supporting COVID-19 testing
XI (Fighter) Squadron, RAF
On 22nd May 2018 the Company consummated its affiliation with XI (Fighter) Squadron, RAF. The affiliation completes the military affiliations for the Company on land, sea and air. No. 11 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps was formed at Netheravon in Wiltshire on 14th February 1915 for "fighting duties", receiving its first two seat pusher Vickers Gunbus fighters in June, and deploying to France on 25th July 1915.
It is the oldest dedicated fighter squadron in the world and its battle honours include, Western Front 1915-1918, Cambrai 1917, Somme 1918, Hindenburg Line, Egypt and Libya 1940-1942 and North Burma 1943-1944.
Today XI(F) Squadron is based at RAF Coningsby, one of two quick reaction alert stations in the UK, flying the Eurofighter Typhoon F2 since 2007. Recent active service for the Squadron includes Operation Ellamy, policing the no-fly zone over Libya in 2011.
The Grocers' Company makes an annual donation to the Squadron's welfare fund. Each year the Squadron Commander nominates a deserving member of the Squadron for receipt of the Grocers’ Medal which is awarded in recognition of outstanding service and is presented by the Master during a lunch at Grocers’ Hall.
City of London Volunteer Police Cadets
The Grocers’ Company is very proud of its affiliation with the City of London Volunteer Police Cadets. The City of London Police Cadets were relaunched, post the COVID pandemic, on 21st September 2021 at the Honourable Artillery Company. The event was attended by the Master, Second Warden and Clerk. The relaunch saw the City with a total of twenty five cadets.
The Cadets provide a real opportunity to make a difference to young people’s lives and attract a truly diverse cohort of young people to public service. The ambition is to grow to fifty cadets in the near term. The Cadets support the City of London Police and City institutions in any number of ways. Recent examples were the Queen’s Jubilee, and the Queen’s baton relay for the Commonwealth Games, and supporting civic functions including the City of London Police Authority Board dinner held at Grocers’ Hall.
The Company makes an annual financial donation to the Police Cadets. Each year the Police Commander nominates a deserving member of the Cadets as the recipient of a Grocers’ Medal. The Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding service and is presented by the Master during a lunch at Grocers’ Hall.
Cadets at 2021 relaunch
The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps) (FANY)
The Grocers' Company are very proud to sponsor one cadet each year through her training to become a member the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps) (FANY). FANY, founded in 1907, is an all-female voluntary organisation which deploys multi-faceted rapid response teams to support civil and military authorities in times of crisis. They are on call 24/7, 365 days a year to be of service to those who need them.
Although for the last 100 years they have moved away from nursing, compassion is central to what they do. By way of example, in 2019, the FANY provided 650 days of both operational and routine support to the military, police and other civil organisations. They gave assistance immediately following the London Bridge Attack that started in Fishmongers' Hall, and in response to the grim discovery of a number of bodies found in a lorry in Essex.
The Grocers' Company's affiliation with FANY was formalised in 2019 when the Company sponsored their first FANY cadet.
FANY passing out parade May 2023