Pathfinder International magazine continues the coverage of Armed Forces Day 2022 as official media partner of the National Main Event held in Scarborough this weekend with a focus on Fells – an official supplier to the event. 

Fells is widely regarded as one of the UK’s finest wine distributors. 

Following the acquisition of the business by the Symington Family, Fells is now considered the category specialist for Port. Here Anthony Symington tells us of the links between the forces and Port… 

“There has long been a strong relationship between the Symington Family and the British Armed Forces with several members of the family serving in the British Forces over many years. There are two particular stories which come to mind and reinforce this strong link between our family, the Armed Forces and Port.

Firstly, during the First World War Maurice Symington had Vintage Port with him in the trenches in 1916 and when Churchill was sacked from the Cabinet after the Dardanelles fiasco, he served with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, close to where Maurice was stationed with the Royal Field Artillery. One evening in 1916 Churchill was visiting Maurice’s billet at the front, and they enjoyed a few bottles of Dow’s Port. Years later, in the 1920’s, Maurice was in London and bumped into Churchill on the pavement in Knightsbridge, Churchill took one look at Maurice and said ‘Port’.

Secondly it was during the liberation of Portugal from Napoleon during the Peninsula Wars that the relationship between Port wine and the Army was cemented. Lord Wellington himself being a big fan. He instructed William Warre who was serving in his army at the time to write to his father asking  ‘Lord Wellington will be much obliged to you if you could have the Pipe of Port Wine bottled for him, marked with his name , and taken care of in a good place till his return, as he wishes to keep it as a bonne bouche.’ “

 Anthony Symington

Fells are Official Suppliers for the National Armed Forces Day Main Event, Scarborough.  

Read the Armed Forces Day Special Issue of Pathfinder here!