Recognising the sacrifices made by veterans this Remembrance Day

Rhys Little, Chair of our Armed Forces Network, talks about the importance of Remembrance Day.

As a member of the Army Reserves the armed forces have been a central part of my life for the last 18 years and it is a privilege to lead the Armed Forces Network at Tesco.

November 11 and Remembrance Weekend is always such an important time in our national calendar. It’s a chance for people to take a few moments to remember the sacrifice men and women have made in defence of their nations across various conflicts.

Seeing the scenes in Ukraine in recent months reminds us that armed conflict is bloody and heart wrenching, but freedom is founded upon the dedication of armed forces personnel willing to stand up for the values that make us who we are.

As a business, we’ve had a long-standing association with the Armed Forces ever since our founder, Jack Cohen started Tesco back in 1919 after leaving the Royal Flying Corps at the end of the First World War.

Almost one per cent of all veterans leaving the Army join Tesco. As the UK’s biggest private sector employer, we want to do everything we can to support our Armed Forces colleagues so that our business continues to be a place where everybody’s welcome and anyone can get on.

Given this representation, there will be a lot of personal reflection in the business and I’m asking that you use the minute’s silence to think the honour, courage and commitment shown by those we’ve lost in war.

We’re working closely with the Royal British Legion this year, including a round up at till initiative to ensure a sizeable donation to help them with their support of veterans and their families.



Armed Forces at Tesco Timeline

  • In 2014, we created the Volunteer Reserve Forces and Veterans’ Policy
  • In 2014, Tesco was the first retailer to sign the Armed Forces Covenant
  • In 2015, the Tesco Armed Forces Network was formed, later to become Armed Forces at Tesco.
  • In 2016, Tesco was recognised for its commitment to the Armed Forces with a Gold award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.
    MOD announcement
  • In 2018, we added further pledges and resigned the Armed Forces Covenant.
  • In 2020, we revised the Volunteer Reserve Service and Veterans Policy
  • In 2020, Tesco was again recognised for its commitments to the Armed Forces with a Gold award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme
    Tesco will be the main sponsor of Armed Forces Day in 2022

Our priorities

  • Support service leavers
  • Providing access to Tesco as an example of what service leavers can expect from a civilian employer
  • Supporting former military colleagues with transition from military life
  • Supporting colleagues with family in the Armed Forces
  • Supporting colleagues who are Reservists

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