A Navy veteran from Holcombe Brook has followed his families footsteps after being invited to a Royal Garden Party in London for members of the Not Forgotten Association.

Steve Butterworth, who is a Falkland Islands veteran, served on HMS Intrepid and is an Outreach Worker with Haslingden-based Veterans In Communities.

His Grandad, who was a radio ham, had previously been to a Royal Garden Party and Steve’s sister, Daryl, used to work in the Palace as a member of staff.

Bury Times: Veteran Steve Butterworth and his wife Maria waiting to go in the gates of Buckingham Palace to the Royal Garden Party.Veteran Steve Butterworth and his wife Maria waiting to go in the gates of Buckingham Palace to the Royal Garden Party. (Image: public)

He said: “My mum died last year and I would have really like to have been able to say to her, ‘See, I got there too’, but the most important part for me was that my wife, Maria, got to go.”

Steve is a member of SAMA82, South Atlantic Medal Association and the Borough of Bury Veterans’ Association.

He attended the Buckingham Palace Garden Party in London which was hosted by Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh.

Whilst there, Steve met up with a Falklands veteran, Chris, who survived the sinking of HMS Sheffield.

He said: “I also met the Chelsea Pensioners and the Beefeaters and the RAF Band played Beat the Retreat.

“I didn’t realise how large the gardens are; it is like a park.”

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There were lots of celebrities in attendance, particularly TV stars including Kevin Whately, best known for starring in Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Inspector Morse.

Steve was also delighted to meet and be photographed with actress, TV presenter and former glamour model Linda Lusardi.

He said: “I told her that there was hardly a mess deck in the Navy that didn’t have a poster of her on the wall.”

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Other familiar faces were Anthea Redfern, Vanessa Feltz and Linda Robson.

Steve said: “I also spoke to Bruce Crompton, a military historian who has a programme Combat Dealers on the Discovery Channel and I passed his details on to the Veterans Living History Museum.

“It was an honour to have been invited.”

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