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Festival of Remembrance 2011

Winter 2011 Issue 434

Winter 2011

Issue 434

Address from the National Secretary
Colonel Anthony Beattie (Retd)

The Circular
Introduction................................................................2 Address from the National Officers............................3 Welfare Update ......................................................4-6 Notices ......................................................................7 Festival of Remembrance ......................................8-9 Cenotaph Ceremony ..............................................10 Branch and County News..................................11-15 Legacy Information ..................................................16

Certificate of Public Liability ......................................1 The Princess Royal Cup Application Form ................2 (County Secretaries Only)


Charity No.219279

Well, it has been an exciting 90th Anniversary year for the Royal British Legion Womens Section, marked by our celebrations as a part of Annual Conference earlier this year. Bishop John Kirkham conducted a most moving Drumhead Service supported by the Reverend Peter Hills, who has generously agreed to become our Honorary Chaplain. We are indebted to the Defence School of Catering for the magnificent cake which was an iconic symbol of our organisation; the pace at which it was demolished and consumed spoke volumes for its excellence! 90 members attended the RBL Service of Commemoration in Westminster Abbey and we raised an additional 15,000 for the Poppy Appeal during the Great Poppy Party Weekend. This will add to the contribution made by Branches in October and November and what results from the tireless commitment so many of our members make to poppy collection. If 2011 has been marked by Anniversary, then 2012 will be marked by the Olympics. We will all wait with bated breath to see whether our sponsored fencer, Sophie Williams, makes the team and, thereafter, her achievement. But we to have an olympian task to confront and that is the regeneration of our consistently reducing membership. The National Chairman has set her challenge for every branch to recruit a minimum of two new members, but lets go for gold and make the target 12 in 2012! The last National Chairman sounded a cautionary note in her speech at Conference advising that unless we revive the membership, there will come a time when our existence is simply unsustainable. I urge one and all to do everything possible to remove the spectre of closure from the feast. For reasons that have been well-recorded, our welfare programme has seen a slight reduction but this is no cause for alarm, simply a refection of changes in welfare eligibility criteria. That notwithstanding, we must not lose sight of the principle that welfare is our stock in trade and branches in particular are asked to be sensitive to the increasing difficulties faced by individuals around them and to encourage those in need to come forward for assistance where it may be appropriate. It but remains for me to wish you all from us at Head Office a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year. The Womens Section has much to be proud of in its 90th year. We must look forward to meeting our challenges head on and hopefully go from strength to strength in membership, fundraising and welfare.

Haig House, 199 Borough High Street, London SE1 1AA Tel: 020 3207 2181 Fax: 020 3207 2358 Email:

Old Basing Uncovered

At the beginning of October last year, Old Basing Branch Chairman Rick Bourne (RBL), approached the Womens Section branch to see if they would be willing to feature in calendar to raise money for their local church, St Marys. Despite some initial apprehension, once the ladies realised that a portion of the proceeds would be allocated to the Poppy Appeal, eight brave members put their best legs forward and rose to the challenge! A few weeks later, they met at the Old Basing RBL Club with more red lipstick and mascara than most would see in a lifetime, and began their photo shoot dressed in poppies, high heels, long gloves, and very little else ! Whilst the calendar featured 11 other local businesses and organisations, there was no question over which month Old Basing Branch would represent; their November entry was a photographic triumph and after going on sale during the Poppy Appeal, the calendar reined in a massive 3000! In February 2011, the eight ladies who featured in the photo were invited to a special reception where they received a cheque for 850 towards the Poppy Appeal; so in the end, the result was well worth their blushes!


Editor Chiara Raine Tel: 0203 207 2188 Email: Circular production by Bluepoint Cambridge 01223 472400

For reasons of sensitivity we were unable to feature Old Basings calendar photo on the front cover. However, we would still like to mention the following ladies for bravely volunteering: Avril Mitchell (Chairman), Tammy Lake (President), Ann Dyer,
Sue Wison (Committee Secretary), Sue Chewter (Meetings Secretary), Ivy Morris, June Green, and Coleen Curyer (Treasurer).

Events and Notices Address from the National Officers

National Chairman
Christmas is nearly upon us so I would first like to take the opportunity to thank every one of our dedicated members for their help with the 90th Anniversary celebration and the 2011 Poppy Appeal. With the war in Afghanistan still taking the lives of our young soldiers, your help this year has been wonderfulTHANK YOU. I know many of you will be attending Conference 2012 in Llandudno; hopefully we will also have a full house for the January 2012 Seminar in London. As youre all aware, we do need/must try and raise our membership numbers this year, so in a bid to boost membership, we are launching a BIG request to each member and branch to try and recruit: 1 new member, 3 new members, 5 new members, or more, into each branch. PLEASE WOULD I ASK YOU TO TRY YOUR HARDEST! Together with this very urgent request, I am asking you all, to also think hard about any MOTIONS that will benefit us all to please come forward to HEAD OFFICE as soon as possible. (Last year the Motion to stop the banks removing cheques was very worthwhile and it worked) Once again Ladies, (and Gentleman who read our Circular), a very Happy Christmas and New Year to you all!

Annual Conference Llandudno 2012

The Merseybeats performing in Concert

Conference Committee Chairman

Time is passing very quickly and planning for our National Conference in 2012 is well under way. Conference Committee held their first meeting at the beginning of October with a lot of business covered. One of the main topics under discussion was the entertainment for Wednesday 25th April and this has now been finalised and I am in a position to give you details.As our Conference is being held in Wales The Land of Song it was felt that for the opening part of the evening, we should have the pleasure of listening to a Welsh Male Voice Choir. We are fully aware that quite a number of ladies like to dress up I am sure we can all relate to the music of the SIXTIES, can I suggest you all get your sixties gear out of mothballs to reminisce sing and dance to the Merseybeats. Tickets for the evening will be 2. I look forward to seeing and meeting you all in Llandudno. May I wish you all a peaceful Happy Christmas and my best wishes for a healthy new year.

Wendy Bromwich

Pat Chrimes

National Vice-Chairman
Service not Self is our fitting Motto, and none of us expects any rewards for the work we undertake. However, I am sure you will agree ladies, that as a caring organisation it is only fitting that we do say thank you to those amongst our members who go the extra mile. Our way of doing this is our National Awards: Chairmans Certificate of Appreciation, Merit, Life Membership and Golden Awards. Two Central Committee members have agreed to look at the application forms, with a view to making them more user friendly and as an interim measure Central Committee agreed at the meeting on 21 September that the following changes be implemented, with immediate effect, in the hope that more nominations will be submitted. 1. As a Branch is making the nomination and will ultimately pay for a Badge there will no longer be a requirement for Counties to endorse the nomination. Instead they may be sent directly to HO for consideration by the Awards Sub-Committee. 2. Counties are urged to nominate members from those Branches where there are deserving ladies serving as Branch Officers who are unable to nominate themselves. 3. Regional Representatives are empowered to nominate County Officers who they believe to be deserving of an Award. Marilyn Humphry

Welfare update
As the Womens Section reaches the end of its 90th anniversary year, wed like to say a very big thank you to YOU, our membership, the life and blood of our organisation. For ninety years, you have worked tirelessly to help us help those affected by the rigours of war and military life; and without your help and the fundraising you do, none of our welfare work would be possible. And were not the only ones whod like to say thank you

Susan Bowker
I would like to take a moment of your time to thank you for the help you have given to me and my family over many years, culminating in my daughters graduation this July. In short, you have helped me as an exservicewoman and single parent to be able to give myself, but more importantly my two children, a decent quality of life during years of struggle following a separation from their father from whom we never received any help, financial or otherwise. You helped me cope through much financial hardship and with the Children's Allowance and gift tokens sent each Christmas and birthday, I was able to help them grow into two wonderful young adults. We live in a poor area which is reflected by the behaviour of many of the people around us, unfortunately not in a good way. But with your kind and unconditional help I have been able to guide them through the years and teach them the right way to live and behave. You sent us on holiday in the summer and we fell in love with Hafan Y Mor in North Wales, thanks to you our first holiday as a family together, over 11 years ago now. We were so privileged to have your help and however many letters I have written to convey my heart felt thanks, they will never be enough to express what it has all meant to me. Three years ago you accepted my application for my daughter, Laura, to receive a scholarship award which paid for a laptop, printer and expensive text books that she needed for the start of her Human Biology course at Loughborough University. I could never have paid for these for her as money has never been spare for such items. It meant she could start her course with everything she needed and I am happy to say she did not take this award for granted. She worked hard over her three years at Loughborough and graduated in July 2011 with a First Class Honors Degree in Human Biology and four weeks later she started her new job as a DNA analyst at a laboratory in Abingdon, near Oxford. Sadly this has meant she has had to move into rented accommodation 200 miles away from home, but I am so proud of her achievements. My son Anton has left college with a distinction in HND Public Services but is struggling to find a job or an apprenticeship at the moment. Time will tell where his future lies, but the important fact is that without your incredible help over all these years, I am certain that it would have been so much harder for both of my children to achieve what they have so far. You have given our family the means and the time to grow and survive within an uncertain climate. You gave me hope and the strength to work hard and bring my children up alone in the best way possible to ensure they had a bright future to look forward too. I am so proud and so very grateful yet humbled by your amazing kindness. You have to know what an incredible job you do and how much happiness and courage you give to people who feel alone and unable to cope at certain times in their lives. With warmest regards, and once again, thank you; from the bottom of my heart. Mrs Susan Bowker

Anna Dormer
I am writing to thank you and the Womens Section for all the support you have given me since I started my training at Medical School. I am currently in the penultimate year of a 5 year course, which, after another two years, will enable be to become a fully qualified doctor; a choice rooted in a search for academic challenge combined with a very real world career. I enjoy meeting and caring for people and find the prospect of using my skills to the betterment of society, a very humbling experience. The Presidents Award Scholarship has given me such a great opportunity. Medical School is expensive and not just because of university top-up fees but also due to the many hidden costs. It is two years longer than most courses and we all need special equipment (like stethoscopes) not to mention a professional wardrobe for ward rounds and up to date textbooks. The Presidents Award has taken care of this financial burden and enabled me to thrust myself into my studies and concentrate on the fascinating journey to becoming a doctor. I am very grateful to you all. Anna
Anna has been a recipient of the Presidents Award Scholarship since September 2000. She was raised by her mother and stepfather, Mr Peter Dorner, who served for 10 years in the Royal Air Force for 10 years.


Josh Hodge
I would like to begin by extending my dearest thanks to everyone at the Royal British Legion's Women's Section, particularly to Jessica Cooper for all her help and guidance. The Presidents Award Scholarship has assisted me immensely and given me the opportunity to experience university to the fullest, both academically and personally. Whilst the scholarship enabled me to buy extra resources for my studies, it contributed most significantly to my accommodation and tuition fees. As a result, I was able to volunteer my free time, which would've been otherwise spent holding down a job to fund my studies, to assist a PhD student and explore the world of academia and research, which I am now actively pursuing as a career. I was also able to devote more of my time to subjects that did not come so naturally but were essential for taking my academic interests further. Without the scholarship I may never have the discovered this path and could have easily finished my undergraduate degree without knowing what I wanted to do. Aside my academic studies, I also used my free time to participate in several university sports and societies. I was elected to serve on the executive committee for both the Badminton Club and the Glee Society and both these additional responsibilities have decidedly improved my employability. Thank you once again to everyone in the Womens Section; I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received and I can safely say I have made the most of it. With kindest regards, Josh

Josh is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Environmental Bioscience in a Changing Climate at the University of Warwick. He is also applying for a PhD at St Andrew's University, The University of Warwick, The University of Nottingham and The University of Sheffield. We wish him the best of luck!

Sophie Williams Challenge Update

ith the London 2012 Olympics only six months away, our Ambassador of Goodwill and Olympic hopeful, Sophie Williams, has her eyes firmly fixed on the prize: a qualifying place for the London Games and a place on the British Ladies Fencing Team.

After a hard summer of training, Sophie has certainly made an impressive start to the season. She reached the last 64 and 32 in her first two Olympic qualifying events and secured a fantastic victory in the European Championships in Sheffield, finishing 22nd overall. Her performance in these competitions means that Sophie is now ranked third in the Senior British Women's Sabre Ranking an incredible achievement for someone her age. It has also earned her a coveted spot on the World Class Programme for British Fencing, confirming her prospects as a future candidate for the Olympic Games! This means that as well as the fantastic support she receives from the Womens Section, she now has full access to a range of support staff including Physiotherapists and Strength Conditioning coaches, which is essential for her progression. For the last month, Sophie has been training hard in preparation for her first Senior World Championship in Sicily. For someone her age, competing in a competition of this level is a fantastic achievement; heres how she got on

A couple of weeks ago, I returned from my first senior World Championships in Sicily. I feel that I learned a lot from the experience and can definitely improve on my performance before heading into the second half of the Olympic Qualification period. I was very nervous before the initial round of poules and I think this held me back which made it difficult for me to find my rhythm. Fortunately I still fenced well enough to get a reasonable result of 3 wins and 3 losses, which meant I had to fence Gonzalez (Mexico) to reach the round of 64. I was still dealing with nerves and this made me very tense, but I just managed to squeeze a victory 1514. I knew I was fencing Besbes (Tunisia) in the 64; she is ranked top 10 in the world and is by no means an easy match, but I felt I had some good ideas going into the match and that my nerves wouldnt hold me back. The day came and I felt as prepared as I could be, but unfortunately her

experience was too great and I lost 15-7. Although I feel I could have fenced better in the individual event, I wasnt too disappointed with my result. But now it was on to the team event. In the first round we had to fence Australia and we had a relatively comfortable win against them. But we knew we had to raise our game if we were going to put in a good performance against Italy in the next round. Italy were a tough team and we couldnt quite keep up to their pace and lost. Now we had to fence for places 9-16. Our first of these matches was against Tunisia; this was our best match and we won very easily (and I beat Besbes 5-0 this time). We were into the 9-12 playoffs with Korea. We fenced well, but a couple of small errors were all it took and they narrowly won 45-42. Our last match for 11th place was with Spain, who we have fenced before and lost to twice in recent competitions. We werent going to let that happen again and despite a close start to the match, we pulled away to a good victory. The World Championships were an eye opener for me. I now feel like I have a more directed approach to my training and know where I need to make my improvements. Im looking forward to the next few months training and then getting back into the Olympic Qualifying competition at the beginning of next year.


Photograph courtesy of Christine Chapman, Editor of Voices, the Newcastle Upon Tyne Church High School Magazine

In our Winter 2010 issue, we ran a feature on Lauren McLeish, one of our young beneficiaries currently in receipt of the Presidents Award Scholarship. At the age of only six months old, Laurens father was killed whilst deployed on operational service in Bosnia. Five years later, and as a result of prolonged depression following his death, her mother committed suicide. In September last year, Welfare Advisor Jessica Cooper, was invited to attend the Memorial Service where Lauren was presented with the Elizabeth Cross. In her own words, Lauren tells us her story
the Queen, bears commemorative words written by Andrew Motion, then the Poet Laureate. So on the 17th of September last year, my Grandmother and I travelled by train to London en route to our hotel in Chatham, Kent, near to the Royal Engineers' Brompton Barracks. There we had dinner with Lieutenant Colonel John McLennan and his wife, who we had met before in October 2007 at another Army event. John is Controller for the Royal Engineers Association and during the meal he explained to me the procedure for the presentation ceremony the following day. The next day we arrived at Brompton Barracks, had breakfast in the Mess and then waited to be called to the reception room along with other families also receiving medals. At around 12-00 pm we entered the reception where we waited for General Sir Peter Wall, then Commander-in-Chief, Land Forces now Chief of the General Staff who would be awarding us with our medals. When the General approached me, he smiled warmly and began to explain to me why he felt so proud to give me this award. I learnt that this man of such high status, then the Commanding Officer of 32 Engineer Regiment deployed on operations in Bosnia, had spent all of Christmas 1995 with my Dad, learning all about my mum and me. The General formally pinned the silver cross on my lapel and moved on. After the ceremony, we all filed out to the parade area to watch a parade put on by members of the Royal Engineers, the regiment in which my father served, for the Corps Memorial weekend. I got extremely cold during this parade and a very kind man gave me his jacket. I later learned that he was Major General Alan Macklin. When we returned to the Barracks, I was invited to dine with the General and the other army staff in 6

Lance Corporal McLeish

the Officers Mess, where members of the royal family also ate when they visited the Barracks. We were served wonderful food and I got to sit near General Sir Peter, unlike all the other families who were sitting on a separate table! It was a really wonderful day, but the best part of all was getting to meet people in the army and having them share with me their stories and memories about my Dad.

Lauren McLeish This prestigious medal has great personal significance for Lauren, acting as a further reminder of her fathers life and the outstanding service he gave to his county. Whilst Lauren is still too young to know what she wants to do later on in life, the financial support she receives from the Womens Section can make a significant difference to her future and we are proud to be able to provide it! Lauren is currently in Year 11 and is preparing to sit her GCSEs next summer.

Lauren with Welfare Advisor Jessica Cooper, at the Memorial Service at the Royal Engineers Brompton Barracks.

n July 2010 I received a very unexpected phone call telling me I had been chosen to receive an Elizabeth Cross Medal - the first military honour granted by a monarch since 1940 - which would be presented to me in September. The caller explained that I was entitled to the award because my father, Lance Corporal Christopher McLeish of the Royal Engineers, had died in Bosnia during the Cold War in 1996 when I was only 6 months old and 5 years afterwards my mother had died as a result of depression. The Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll (first awarded in 2009) are granted by the Queen to the Next of Kin of UK Armed Forces personnel who have died on operations in national recognition of their loss and sacrifice. The medal is a sliver cross decorated by a laurel wreath and flowers representing England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The name of the Service person in whose memory it is granted is engraved on the back and the case also includes a miniature version for the recipient to wear however they wish. The Memorial Scroll, signed by

Lauren with General Sir Peter Wall, Commander in Chief, Land forces

Appointment of the Womens Sections first Honorary Chaplain
We are delighted to announce the appointment of the Womens Sections first Honorary Chaplain: The Reverend Peter Hills. Following his Conference debut at the Opening Ceremony and Drumhead Service, he is certainly no stranger to the Womens Section and was delighted to accept this appointment. Any counties wishing to use his services should contact Head Office in the first instance, but should bear in mind that he will mainly be used at a national level.

Poetry Poetry
Reflections on a Visit to the WW1 Battlefields
Do poppies still grow in Flanders fields? Where once the earth the soldiers trod Where now the gravestones stand in line Many there known only to God Where now birds sing and the corn grows high Where beneath the search, men still lie And yes The poppies still grow in Flanders Fields
Written by Joyce Hardy, member of Holbeach Branch on a visit to the 1st World War Battlefield in spring this year

Have you ever heard the Nightingale Singing in the night Or watched the sun rise in the morning light Remembering with love, memories of the past Never to be forgotten, a love that will last Be bold, go forth, sing aloud Look for the sunshine is every cloud Over the rainbow a journey will end With singing and dancing, the music will bend Every member should try to be Respectful to other, just like me
Written by Mrs Christine Godfrey JP - Nottinghamshire County Chairman for the Womens Institute Hornblower Competition

Pictured left to right: The Right Reverend John Kirkham (former Bishop to the Forces), The National Chairman, and The Reverend Peter Hills.

Golden Award Recipients

Sally Warren Sheila Hassall Biddy Fancy Pat Ayres Jean Mercer Dawn Colley Sylvia West Audrey Evans Wendy Bartlett Knowle Branch Loughorough Sandford Kemble & District Wigston Worcester Elmstead Broomfield Sandford

Back to the Old Days Conference Raffle

Please would each County kindly bring a County Gift wrapped in Blue and Gold for the Conference 2012 Raffle. All gifts should be left with Pat Scott in the Conference Foyer.

Spring 2012 Circular Deadline

Please submit any entries for the Spring 2012 Circular by January 14th 2012. Details of how to send your entry can be found on the contents page.

Lest We Forget
We regret to inform you that the following ladies have sadly passed away

Miss Florence Bull

President of North Yorkshire County, Florence recently passed away aged 95. Miss Bull was a great stalwart of the Women's Section and will be sorely missed.

Helen Fox, Pat Wanlling and Elsie Marnock

Seal Branch regretfully loses three branch members; each one will be greatly missed but fondly remembered all.

Miss Margaret Fox

Margaret was President of Eastbourne Branch for many years. She worked tirelessly for the branch and will be sadly missed by fellow branch members.


Festival of Remembrance 2011

On Saturday 12th November, senior members of the Royal Family, politicians and military leaders joined an audience of veterans and their families to commemorate and honour those who have fallen in conflicts past and present. This years Festival, which marked the 90th Anniversary of the Royal British Legion, featured performances by Sir Cliff Richard, Katherine Jenkins, Joe McElderry, Alfie Boe and a choir composed of military wives with husbands on active service in Afghanistan.


Festival of Remembrance 2011 From small beginnings, great things grow: 90 years of the Poppy Appeal
In 1921 no one knew how the British public would react. The euphoria of victory in the Great War had faded fast and the promise of a country fit for its returning heroes hadnt been kept. Life was very hard for ex-Servicemen and their families; thats why the first Cenotaph was only a temporary structure and why the first order of poppies was such a cautious one. But the response surprised everyone. The nation showed that they wanted to be brought together again. They wanted to unite to honour their countrymen who had made the greatest sacrifice. The nation didnt want to forget. And so the Poppy Appeal caught the imagination of everyone. The first poppies were priced at three pence but by breakfast on the first day single petals were selling for 5. Crate after crate was emptied in record time. A message from Queen Mary even brought sellers to Buckingham Palace, but hearing that poppies were in short supply, Her Majesty purchased only two. The first official Legion Poppy Appeal on 11th November 1921 raised a huge 106,000 (nearly 3.5 million in todays money) funds generously donated to the newly formed British Legion to help them care for those who had suffered while serving their country. Nowadays, of course, The Poppy Appeal is a key annual event in the nations calendar, and over 45 million poppies will be bought as we strive towards our 2011 target of 36 million. But whatever the numbers involved, all these years later the poppy still stands for Remembrance. And the Legion still stands up for the welfare of Serving and ex-Service men and women of all generations and all conflicts A very special thank you to everyone who supported and participated in the Great Poppy Party Weekend. Your hard work and fundraising efforts meant the Womens Section were able to donate an incredible 15,000 to the Poppy Appeal! WELL DONE LADIES!

Article courtesy of The Poppy Press Magazine

The Cenotaph
The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall is a unique expression of national homage devoted to the remembrance of those who have given their lives in war. On Sunday 13th November, members of the Royal Family, leading politicians, and representatives of the worlds religions and military leaders joined thousands of veterans from countless conflicts for the two minute silence, service and march past. Our National Chairman laid a wreath on behalf of the Womens Section and reports on the day

As an ex-servicewoman and service wife, Remembrance is always a very important time for me. During the past thirty years, I have assisted in the organisation at the Royal Albert Hall as well as participated in Cenotaph Parade. But this year, attending the Festival of Remembrance and laying the Womens Section wreath at the Cenotaph as your National Chairman, was an honour like no other.
The Royal Albert Hall once again showed the world what a respectful and patriotic country we are. I was very proud to see the Womens Section National Standard and the Womens Section Regional Standards parade into the Great Hall. The following day was the brightest sunshine I have experienced on Remembrance Sunday. Horseguards Parade started early to fill up with ex-servicemen and women together with various charity representatives and civilian organisations, literally in their thousands. Throughout the ceremony and parade, Massed Bands of the Guards Division and the Pipes and Drums of the Scots Guards played music from Men of Harlech, Flowers of the Forest, Nimrod and many more. The feeling in the beautiful morning sunshine, as every minute, with every colour of beret representing our armed services, and ex-service men and women stood in their designated columns, was building with pride. We watched as all reached their positions in Whitehall in the build-up to the Armistice Service and Parade.

At the first stoke of Big Ben at 11am, we heard the gun of The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery. We all stood in deep silence. At 11:02, the guns again marked the end of the Silence. The Last Post was then sounded by the Buglers of the Royal Marines. We all stood to attention as HM The Queen laid her wreath, followed by other members of the Royal Family who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces. This was followed by the wreaths being laid by Prime Minister and other Heads of Government and the Opposition, High Commissioners and representatives of the Civilian Services. A service was conducted by the Dean of the Chapels Royal and the Bishop of London. After the Blessing the Rouse was sounded by the Trumpeters of Royal Air Force. The National Anthem was played by the Massed Bands. The Royal Family then retired with Minsters and Commonwealth dignitaries, together with other ex- service organisations and wreath bearers. This was the signal for Col. Beattie to hand the wreath to my keeping on behalf of the Womens Section and march to the Cenotaph to lay the Womens Section wreath. Following on from the ceremony in Whitehall, I went to Horseguards Parade together with the RBL Officers for the Salute which was taken by HRH The Prince of Wales and Lt. General Sir John Kiszely KCB MC, National President of the Royal British Legion. This year there seemed so many more men and women on parade and seeing them all march past wearing their poppies with pride is a moment Ill never forget. Thank you all for bestowing upon me this absolute honour. Wendy Bromwich JP



Branch and County News Highlights

Ramsey RBL and Womens Section celebrate their 90th Anniversary

Purse Presentation Derbyshire County

Every year, the Bath Gardens in the centre of Bakewell are dressed by the gardeners of Derbyshire Dales District Council. Local charities can apply to decorate the garden with their logo, so to commemorate the Womens Sections 90th Anniversary, Angela Smith, Branch Secretary of Bakewell Branch, applied and was lucky enough to win the spot! Mrs Smith is no stranger to dressing the gardens and has done so in previous years, but special thanks is extended to her brother, Head Gardener at the District Council, who did most of the hard work! Derbyshires Annual Purse Presentation took place on the 5th September at the RBL Mickeover Club. Each year, the 13 branches throughout the county meet together to present the money theyve raised during the year for the WS Welfare Schemes. Colonel John Wilson, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire received the Purses which raised a massive total of 9,613.55! Thank you to all those members throughout Derbyshire for their hard work and dedication what a fantastic achievement! Pictured left to right: Angela Swift, County Chairman; Gill Frawley, County Vice-Chairman; Colonel John Wilson Vice Lord Lieutenant and Jan Buxton, County Treasurer.

Norton Branchs Chief Parcel Packer wraps his 600th box!

We would like to give a very special mention to Mr Tom Murray, husband of Mrs Joan Murray from Norton Branch, who is pictured below with his 600th(!) parcel; packed, wrapped and ready to send to troops in Afghanistan! What an incredible effort for a brilliant cause well done Tom, were sure your efforts will be really well appreciated!

Poppy Party Fashion Parade

To celebrate the Legions 90th Anniversary, members from Little Common Branch took part in a Fashion Parade dressed in hats to match their outfits. The Parade took place over the Poppy Party Weekend where 1000 was collected!



Branch and County News

Richmond Branch Fundraiser Garstang Branch celebrates 60 years

This photo shows Garstang Branch receiving their 60th Anniversary Certificate from Mrs Porter, North & East Lancs County President. Special mention must go to their Chairman, Mrs Marjorie Hough who recruited 18 new members at a recent coffee morning! Despite the rain showers over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Ladies from Richmond Branch were kept busy baking cakes for the Annual Kew Fair. Their stall was full of delicious home made cakes which proved so popular they sold out within a few hours! The branch raised 150 which was allocated to the Benevolent fund.

Achievement Awards
Two members from Becontree & Chadwell Heath Branch were recently awarded Achievement Certificates from their Branch Chairman, Mrs Joyce Wipperman. Mrs Joan Parlour and Mrs Joyce Baker have been branch members for 40 years and have both held positions as Branch Chairman. Congratulations Ladies!

90th Anniversary Celebrations

A special congratulations to Joan Marshallsay from Corfe Castle Branch who recently celebrated her 90th Birthday. She has been a dedicated and active member for over 70 years and has served as Branch Secretary, Chairman and now Vice-Chairman. We hope you had a lovely day Joan! East Knowle, Sedgehill and Semley Branch celebrated the Womens Section 90th Anniversary with a special luncheon held at a members house. What a spectacular spread of food!

Congratulations to Jessie Reeves of Badsey, Aldington & Wickhamford Branch, who celebrated her 90th Birthday on 1st January 2011.

Tiverton Branch celebrates 85 years

Earlier in June, Tiverton Branch celebrated their 85th Anniversary in Tiverton Memorial Hall. Guests included Devon County President, Mrs Sue Stevens, County Chairman, Mrs Anne Miller and County Secretary, Mrs Teresa Panizzi. Following a ploughmans lunch served up by committee members, all attendees were treated to an afternoon of music and song by Tivertons Ladies Choir. The beautifully decorated celebration cake was cut by Mrs Sue Stevens and Branch Chairman, Mrs Nora McTeague.

If youd like to see your Branch or County featured on this page, please send in a good quality photo along with a short entry to Head Office, or alternatively, email them to:



Branch and County News

West Wickham celebrates 65 years

A very special congratulations to Winifred Walker from Oadby Branch who celebrated her 100th Birthday in October! She is pictured below with her daughter Julia Walker who reports that her mother had a wonderful day surrounded by friends and family. On the 18th September, West Wickham Branch marked their 65th Anniversary with a Church Service and Parade. Attendees included Beckenham MP, Col. Bob Stewart, Mayor and Mayoress of Bromley, as well as the Surbiton Youth RBL Band and Beckenham Air Cadets. The photograph shows the West Wickham Standard, carried by Mrs L Poulter, their President Mrs Janet Salter and Chairman Mrs Christine Warwick, as well as several members of their branch. After the return parade through West Wickham, guests were invited for refreshments supplied by their members.

Garden Party South and West Yorkshire County Committee Meeting 2011
Members from Headingley Branch in Leeds make the most of the sunshine at a Garden Party in August.

Garden Party Durham County

Pictured above is Durham County Chairman, Deborah Stevenson and Durham County Secretary, Alison Tindale, at the Annual Garden Party at Lister House held in July.

Members of Lovedean Branch receive recognition for their long standing service to the Poppy Appeal Collection
On Thursday 27th October, the National Chairman and National Vice-Chairman went on a whirlwind tour of the Royal Palaces to deliver Wreaths and Poppies on behalf of the Womens Section. They visited Clarence House, St James Palace, and Kensington Palace, where this photo was taken. Mrs Eileen Stoat (left) had been a Poppy Collector for 35 years and Mrs Barbara Watkinson (right) for 65. Congratulations Ladies, and keep up the good work!



Branch and County News

Wedding Celebrations Bury St Edmunds Branch celebrates 85 years with a new Standard!
Pictured above is Bury St Edmunds longest serving member, Mrs Eileen Gyseman, cutting the cake at the party which raised the last 300 towards a new branch Standard. Despite being a small branch, members managed to raise 1,185 for the cost of the Standard, as well as allocate the remaining money to the Benevolent Fund. Also pictured is Mrs Joyce Ringer (Secretary), Mrs Beryl Dykes (Chairman), Mrs Maureen Cadge, Mrs Mellisa Watts, Mrs Hazel Jeffery, and Mrs Olive English. Congratulations to Sylvia Kaufman of New Bradwell Branch and Mr Paul Sampon who were recently married. We wish you all the best for your new life together!

Durham County Standard Bearer Competition

Miss Marie Taylor (Judge), Miss Hannah Wood (Deputy County SB), Mrs Deborah Stevenson (County Chairman), Mrs Christine Middleton (County SB), Mrs Michelle Miller (Judge) pictured at the Durham County Standard Bearer Competition.

A.G.M. Success
The AGM of the Croxley Green Branch was even more successful this year. Once again it was held on a Saturday and as in previous years, the meeting was followed by a light lunch and a cuppa!

Congratulations to Girlings Standard Bearer Amy Schofield and her husband Dale, who on the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011, welcomed the arrival of their baby daughter Evie Louise - what a day to be born!

On the 22nd October, Eastbourne Branch of East Sssex County held a coffee morning to raise money for the annual Poppy Appeal. A sum of over 300 was collected after a very hectic but successful morning. From left to right: Davina Mayes (Secretary), Pat James (President), the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Eastbourne and Teresa Crofts (Treasurer)

It was a double celebration for Mrs May Edwards of Royston Branch, when on the day she celebrated her 90th Birthday, she was awarded a Chairmans Certificate of Appreciation for serving 20 years as Branch Chairman. Mrs Edwards is pictured on the left receiving her award from County Chairman, Mrs Barbara Todd.

Car Boot Sale Diss & District Branch

Congratulations to Diss & District Branch who raised just over 70 at a Car Boot Sale organised by the RBL Branch. Pictured below are branch members and one husband manning several stalls which included a Tombola, cakes, bric-a-brac, books and many other times.



Branch and County News

Hampshire County walk the Poppy Trail!

Hampshire County Committee turned out in force to support the RBL Poppy Walk in July. Four members of the team did the walking and the other two supplied the refreshments for the walkers! They were well supported by members from all over the County and raised over 450 for the Poppy Appeal. Brilliant work!

Surrey County Standard Bearer Training Course

Worcestershire County
This picture was taken at Group 1s tea party gettogether. Bewdley, Claines and Droitwich Branches enjoyed the entertainment and a good time was had by all!.

Melbourne Branch Benefit from Local Fundraising

On behalf on Melbourne Branch, Mrs Lynn Whiting (Branch Chairman) and branch members Gill Holt and Clare Pattinson were delighted to receive a cheque 850.00 from Mr Collett, Chairman of the Ticknall 'Scarecrow Trail' committee. All monies will be allocated the WS Benevolent Fund.

Afternoon Tea in Durham

After a very successful Coffee Morning in May, Durham County decided to go a step further and hold an Afternoon Tea in September. Mrs Margaret Maddison, Mrs Gladys Elliott, Mrs Norma Riley and Mrs Jean Purvis are pictured manning the tea stand before the queues began, and below is Mrs Maddison advertising the event, which she did for 4 hours, some of which in the pouring rain! The branch made a total profit of 251.00 so despite the rain, it was clearly a worthwhile effort. Well done Ladies!

Norton Branch Coffee morning and raffle in support of the Poppy Appeal
Mrs Deborah Stevenson, Chairman of Norton Branch, with her farther, Tom Murray, Chairman of the Norton RBL.

NMA Visit
Mrs Joan Murray (Central Committee) with Mrs Alison Tindale (Durham County Secretary) paid a special visit to the Womens Section garden at the NMA prior to attending the dedication of a garden seat commemorating the work of Vera Atkins (SOE)

Anniversary Celebrations Old Basing Branch

Old Basing Branch celebrated the Womens Section 90th Anniversary with a feast fit for a King! Branch member Jean Chivers is pictured cutting the anniversary cake she herself made doesnt it look delicious!