Last Wednesday, Diz Sollesse joined former serviceman Nigel Horne to lay wreaths at Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey as part of Corps Security’s commemoration of Remembrance Day.
They placed wreaths both at the obelisk which commemorates the founder of the Corps of Commissionaires Captain Sir Edward Walter, and also on several graves of prominent commissionaires including Lance-Corporal James Hollowell from the 78th Highlanders and Drum Major William Kenny from the Gordon Highlanders. This took place before the national lockdown.
Diz, who acts as the executive assistant to the Corps board, is an honorary Australian Commissionaire, a title which was bestowed in 2018 following her work in re-establishing the links between the Corps of Commissionaires Association in Australia and the UK organisation.
Diz arranges joint events around Armistice Day in the UK, visits to the company cemetery and Walter family ancestral home, charitable endeavours and messages from the Corps President for special occasions. She was invited to attend the ANZAC ceremony in Melbourne in April which was unfortunately cancelled due to the pandemic.
“There’s sometimes a perception that Remembrance Day is male-dominated but this is far from the case,” says Diz. “The armed forces, both in the UK and Australia, have many women within their ranks and of course many current and former servicewomen take part in Remembrance Day. The event itself is always led by our Chief Life Governor, Her Majesty the Queen. I’m proud to wear the Corps of Commissionaires Association Australia insignia.”