Sheffield standard bearer set for big things

Standard bearer Niamh Lucey has had some remarkable experiences thanks to being involved with the pastime
Standard bearer Niamh Lucey has had some remarkable experiences thanks to being involved with the pastime
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Young Sheffield woman Niamh Lucey's association with the military runs in her blood.

The Royal British Legion standard bearer is gearing up to represent Sheffield at the northern region competition on March 11. The venue is yet to be decided.

If she wins there, the 21-year-old will head to the nationals on May 20 at Southport on Merseyside.

Standard bearing and the armed forces go hand in hand, especially at commemorations and other occasions like funerals.

The smart uniforms and bright standards themselves add a sense of ceremony to proceedings.

Miss Lucey began standard bearing aged 14, after a visit from a Royal British Legion representative at her army cadet branch.

The visitor, Christine Spencer, is still Miss Lucey's mentor.

"Our cadet branch, Endcliffe Hall, is affiliated with the Royal British Legion," Miss Lucey, who's a resident of Springfield Road, Millhouses, said.

Standard bearing has provided some outstanding experiences for Miss Lucey. It has taken her to London's Royal Albert Hall and the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme commemorations at the Thiepval Memorial in France.

"That was amazing, brilliant," she said.

"The Battle of the Somme commemorations, no one will ever do that again."

She isn't the first person in her family to be involved with the military.

Miss Lucey's great grandfather, Gordon Smith, was a Japanese prisoner of war in World War II. Mr Smith turned 97 on Christmas Day.

"Dad was in the air cadets, but never pursued a career in the military," Miss Lucey said.

Miss Lucey is in the third year of her buying and merchandising degree at Demontfort University, Leicester.

She plans to keep the standard bearing going long after the degree is finished.

"As long as I can do it," she said.