William Cash reports on the well attended City Veterans’ Network’s annual Poppy Day Dinner at the Hurlingham Club.
City glamour mixed with celebrity glitz at The Hurlingham Club to celebrate the annual City Veterans’ Network (CVN) Poppy Day dinner. Guests included patron Elizabeth Hurley, who hosted a table, the Lord Mayor of London Lord Mountevans, various military generals, Sky News foreign editor Sam Kiley, Spear’s founder William Cash and Jim Cowles, Citi’s regional CEO.
Along with her work as an ambassador and a Patron for HRH Prince Harry’s military charity Walking With the Wounded, Elizabeth Hurley is now one of the most high-profile and hard-working advocates for military charities in the UK.
Speaking to Spear’s at the CVN event she said: ‘Coming from an army family
myself, I feel greatly humbled by the incredible bravery and example shown by these wounded soldiers. A charity which promotes their employment in the financial services sector is a very worthy cause and I am delighted to get the message out that these are the very best people to employ.’
The CVN charity was formed in 2014 to act as a forum for firms and institutions in the Financial Services sector in the UK to coordinate the hiring and employment of ex-servicemen and women alongside military charity work. The CVN also provides a focus for fundraising in support of charities that support veterans.
This year’s Poppy Dinner raised funds for Supporting Wounded Veterans (formerly Skiing With Heroes) and The Forces Children Trust. Other guests at Hurley’s table included William, Earl of Dartmouth, fashion guru Trinny Woodall, shoe designer Patrick Cox, Viscount and Viscountess Daventy, and society milliner Lady Laura Cash (the writer’s wife).
Hurley (above) was invited to be a Patron of the CVN Poppy Dinner by Francis Roseman, a vice-chairman of Citi and a former officer with the Queen’s Royal Hussars. The high-flying banker was shortlisted for Young Wealth Manager of the year at the recent Spear’s awards.
The City Veterans Network helps wounded veterans get back into civilian life through various programmes including ski rehabilitation. Auction lots included a round of golf with Mike Tindall at the Berkshire, a trip to the Cresta Run in St Moritz, a day with the Met Police ‘Anti-Hi-Jack’ Unit, and a romantic weekend trip to the five-star Gatehouse at Upton Cressett, where Prince Rupert hid in the civil war.
Elizabeth Hurley was appointed as Patron following her generous support of the event last year in its inaugural year. Hurley has played an active role in the City Veterans initiative, generously giving her time and effort at events throughout the year.
The Poppy Day dinner featured the bands of the Royal Engineers, the Royal Marines and the Pipers of the Scots Guards and raised almost £250,000 in support of the Royal British Legion, Veterans Aid, Supporting Wounded Veterans and the forces Children’s Trust.
Before guests sat down, they were given the opportunity to handle and in some cases, try out, an array of current military equipment from sniper rifles and machine guns, Bomb Disposal robots and a simulated pistol range, to armoured fighting vehicles. Guests also tried their skills with an electronic pistol shooting range.
The Poppy Dinner was generously supported by a number of institutions, particularly Citi, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, KPMG and UBS. Last year Miss Hurley donated over £15,000 to the auction after bidding for several items including a day with the SAS near her home in Herefordshire.
Miss Hurley is now recognised as one of the most high profile UK celebrities actively supporting Britain’s military charity sector. On Saturday, November 12, she attended a special Remembrance Concert service at the Royal Albert Hall with Spear’s 500 member Mowbray Jackson, co-founder of the military cricketing charity Flannels for Heroes.