AN ARMED forces charity branch has named the Earl of Carnarvon as its honorary vice-president.

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) was recently invited to take part in the Heroes at Highclere event to honour the fallen of the First World War.

The Lord and Lady Carnarvon have lived at Highclere Castle for decades and the estate played a pivotal role in helping soldiers in the First World War.

Now, the eighth Earl, George Carnarvon, has been honoured by the charity which ensures the families and veterans of the armed forces needs are met.

In receiving the honour Lord Carnarvon said: “I am delighted to be carrying on my family’s legacy of supporting SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. I look forward to working more closely with the team in the coming months.”

During the planning stages of the Heroes at Highclere event, SSAFA volunteer Lawrence Ashbridge, discovered that the fifth Earl was a life member of SSAFA Hampshire.

After further digging, Lady Carnarvon revealed that when all the men working on the Highclere Estate went to fight in the war, the fifth Earl continued to support their families financially.

The SSAFA say this would have helped their morale immeasurably knowing their loved ones were being cared for whilst they were away.

Patricia Lyons, chairman of SSAFA Hampshire, said: “We are extremely honoured to have the Earl of Carnarvon come on board as an honorary vice president of SSAFA Hampshire branch.

“It is wonderful to be building on the history of the Carnarvon family supporting SSAFA – and this is an exciting new chapter we are entering.”

SSAFA has been providing support to forces members and their families since 1885. For more visit: