Welcome to the Sidbury & Sidford Branch of The Royal British Legion



‘We Will Remember Them’  The Royal British Legion Concert  (Sidbury and Sidford Branch)

Where: Sidholme Hotel Music Room

When: 7.30-9.30pm, Thursday 14 November 2013

Sidmouth Town Band will perform with Andy Webb as MC, accompanist Lynden Webb, vocal soloists Val Howels, Lynden Webb and John Brindley and Robert Crick reciting poems from WW1 and WW2.

There will also be a raffle. Tickets £10 (available from mid-September) from The Royal British Legion; Paragon Books Sidmouth 01395 514516; Drews, Sidbury 01395 597373

Coffee and drinks available by purchasing from Hotel Bar.

Saturday 2 November  - Remembrance Poppy Coffee Morning (Poppy Launch this year is on Friday 25 October in North Devon.) 


Where:  Great Hall, Exeter University

When:   7pm, Thursday 7 November 2013

Coach being arranged.


SATURDAY 9 NOVEMBER ROYAL ALBERT HALL FESTIVAL OF REMEMBRANCE A few places available. Please contact the Secretary, limited seats.

SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER SIDBURY WAR MEMORIAL (10.45 am) Followed by church service and the option of lunch in the Sidbury Village Hall.

SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER REMEMBRANCE LUNCHIn the Sidbury Village Hall with Hazel Hallett and Friends as in other years.  

SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER Service at St Peter's commences at 6.25pm






THURSDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2013 ‘We Will Remember Them’  The Royal British Legion Concert -  refer above



Sidbury Churchyard With Sidbury School 9 Nov 2012

Sidbury School Children Remembrance 9 Nov 2012


Sidbury War Memorial 2012



War Memorial Plinth 2012


Remembrance Lunch 2012 

Remembrance Lunch Ladies 2012




Wreath Laying at Sidbury War Memorial 10th November 2013

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 Armistice Day at Sidbury Chuchyard with Sidbury C of E Primary School

Rememberance 2

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Rememberance 5

Rememberance 3


Remembrance Concer Sidmouth _Town _Band _resized                                      “WE WILL REMEMBER THEM”

In 2013, ninety-nine years after start of the Great War, what should we expect of a British Legion concert to mark Remembrance Day? Not glorification of war, certainly; nor a full-on display of patriotism. We anticipate perhaps a programme reflecting gratitude for the bravery shown in the past, and still being shown today; regret and solemnity when reminded of the terrible loss of life; and, yes, a healthy helping of sentimentality, including the good old songs from back then.

All of these were there in good measure during the Remembrance evening presented by the Royal British Legion Sidbury and Sidford Branch on 14th November. The setting was the grand Music Room at Sidholme.  Andy Webb was Master of Ceremonies. There was charming solo singing from Val Howells, accompanied by fellow soprano Lynden Webb at the piano, who joined Val in duets as well as performing a solo herself; John Brindley’s baritone covered the full range, from a Somervell setting of A E Housman’s mournful “On the Idle Hill of Summer” to a hilariously tipsy rendering of the World War ll song “Kiss me goodnight, Sergeant-Major”. A typically polished performance from the Sidmouth Town Band included medleys of nostalgia and humour: “Tipperary”, “The White Cliffs of Dover” and others, as well as substantial arrangements of pieces such as the Dam Busters March.

But there was an extra element to the evening, which drew the audience more deeply into the truth of what are now distant conflicts, and allowed them to experience the emotional reality of their stories. Robert Crick, the “Narrator”, read extracts from a contemporary record, by his grandfather, of a battalion of the 58th Rifles throughout World War l. The account was matter-of-fact. There was heroism: an Indian soldier risking his life in a hail of bullets to pull his C.O. back from the parapet to safety. And tragedy - the same C.O. going back over the parapet and being instantly shot dead; other young men dying within hours of reaching the front line; a woeful lack of equipment. And macabre humour: troops being appalled to see fields full of corpses looming out of the mist, to find when it cleared that they were actually manglewurzles. The story took us from India, where most of the battalion was raised, via the trenches of France, the heat and dust of the Middle East, back to India in 1919. There, the very few soldiers who had survived the traumatic five years often found their land in other hands, their families fractured, their lives changed for ever. These were realities for which not even bravery awards, presented to some of them by King George V himself, could compensate.

The impact of these readings was made all the more powerful by being interspersed with the familiar tunes. Some of these reflected the sombre mood of the readings, contributed to by the haunting saxophone of Jane Williams, and a flute solo of Schindler’s List by Ashlynn Lee. After the interval, between the musical items, Robert Crick read two poems by Vernon Scannell both of which reflected the pain, fear and misery suffered by ordinary people involved in war.

“Candles in dugouts, Duckboards, mud and rats. Then, like patrols, tunes creep into the mind: A long, long trail, The Rose of No-Man’s Land, Home Fire and Tipperary...”

This poem, “The Great War”, came at the end of the evening. Its last lines were:

“And I remember Not the war I fought in But the one called Great Which ended in a sepia November Four years before my birth.”

Immediately afterwards, Sidmouth Town Band’s Fiona Harvey played the Last Post. That was to be the conclusion of the evening. But such was the impact of her moving rendition and what had gone before, that the audience remained silent. In fact, quite spontaneously and unscheduled, two full minutes silence were observed; then a vote of thanks was given by Sir John Cave Bt  DL (Branch President) and the Town Band struck up again, to play us out into our very different world.

The Concert was arranged and coordinated by Mrs Valerie Hull, Branch Secretary.

Sir Richard Gibbs

Memorial Armistice SidburyMemorial Armistice Sidbury

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New Memorial dedicated to those who have lost their lives since 1945


The Royal British Legion local Branches enjoyed a very emotional 3 days last week-end.

 Our first stop was Warwick, where some of the group visited The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum (Royal Warwickshire).  There was a record of local interest which showed that the 14th Battalion of The Royal Warwickshire Regiment was stationed in Sidbury during the winter of 1940/41.  During this time they were employed in manning the local Coastal Defences.

The next day was spent at The National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, where some of the group were fortunate to find Memorials to friends and relatives. Amongst the 16,00O names recorded on the walls of the new Armed Forces Memorial was Martin Lee Bailey (from Sidbury) who was killed by friendly fire in Canada in 1994.  We all agreed the Arboretum was a spiritually uplifting place.

Some of us planted crocus bulbs in a new Memorial being built, a yearly reminder of hope and renewal.

On our return a further enjoyable and interesting side visit was made to the R.A.F. Cosford Air Museum.

The 3 days were blessed with glorious weather

Ray Budd

A grand finale for the 90th Anniversary Fundraising efforts took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Sid Valley Hotel by kind permission of Stephen and Sarah Hills Ingyon.

An interesting professional afternoon's entertainment was provided by the former Black and White Minstrel Raymond Budd, depicting his life story having left school at the age of 14.

From a very early age he discovered his very gifted singing ability nurtured in Church Choirs.  After being an Air cadet (ATC) he joined the Navy and was involved in the Korean War.

After leaving the Navy his magnificent singing tenor voice was now much sought after, soon becoming a Black and White Minstrel.  We were privileged to hear the music and his beautiful voice. After being thanked he received a well deserved standing ovation.

Valerie Hull - Hon. Branch Secretary, Sidbury and Sidford Branch Royal British Legion

An interesting professional afternoon's entertainment was provided by the former Black and White Minstrel Raymond Budd, depicting his life story having left school at the age of 14.

From a very early age he discovered his very gifted singing ability nurtured in Church Choirs.  After being an Air cadet (ATC) he joined the Navy and was involved in the Korean War.

After leaving the Navy his magnificent singing tenor voice was now much sought after, soon becoming a Black and White Minstrel.  We were privileged to hear the music and his beautiful voice. After being thanked he received a well deserved standing ovation.

 Met Office

The Met Office, Exeter.  A very educational and professional lecture was enjoyed by a small group of Members.  It was the third visit for some but will more to learn and experience!

Anniv . Walk 2011S 

The very  successful 90th Anniversary 90 minute sponsorship walk for 90 year olds took place last Friday 8 July, walking along Sidmouth Promenade.  The windy weather conditions proved to be an extra challenge.

The walkers taking part were Nancy Bowstead, (whose idea this was), Ron Way, Paula Lyster, Gerry Crocker (as previously reported who carried the Olympic Torch in 1948) and Bill Maeer, joined by RBL Members and Supporters.  Before the Walk was started by the Devon County RBL Chairman Ralph Howard-Williams, Nancy Bowstead made a speech. This speech was written in Wonford Orthopaedic Hospital on 26 January when Nancy, hospitalised was recovering from a broken hip.  The Branch Secretary Valerie Hull was handed the transcript after the walk, which reads as follows 

  "People of Sidbury, Sidford and Sidmouth and Devon and the British Isles.  I stand before you a fragile and ageing woman but inside (hand on heart) there is a spirit of a fighting man. The Royal British Legion in its 90th Year is striving to raise ninety million pounds to help men and women of the Armed Forces of all the wars, their dependants with housing, employment, food, light, heat, the basic requirements of life.

I ask you to dig deep in your pockets, your wallets, your handbags and your purses and show them (group of men and women) that you care as the Sidbury and Sidford Branch and the Sidmouth Branch showed me that they cared."

The County Chairman thanked everyone for their support and congratulated the walkers.  The Branch hopes to  exceed their target of £900, to be added to the Sidbury and Sidford Branch 90th Anniversary Fund. 

Nancy Bowstead has also knitted £90 articles to be sold for £1 each at the 90th Anniversary Coffee Morning on Saturday 23 July. The Branch hopes to have good support at this event.

The unveiling of the Memorial Plaque  by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, Sir John Cave Bt DL, took place on Sunday 19th June 2011 at St Giles' Church, Sidbury,  honouring both Louis John Pinn and Martin Lee Bailey. Louis Pinn was killed in 1954 while serving with the RAF in Kenya and his body was laid to rest in Nairobi British Cemetery. Martin  Bailey served with the 14th Division Queens Royal Lancers (Tanks) seeing service in Northern Ireland and in the first Iraq-Kuwait War.  Whilst on Manoeuvres in Canada he was killed in 1994 and died instantly after a stray shell landed in his observation trench.  He was buried at Sidbury Cemetery after a full Military Funeral at St Giles' Church. The Reverend Rik Peckham (Chaplain to 2019 Squadron Sidmouth ATC) conducted the Service assisted by the Reverend Canon Dennis Gurney OBE, Branch Chaplain and the Reverend Peter Leverton (Chaplain to the Royal Naval Old Comrades' Association)


Two Royal British Legion Standard Bearers, Heather Anguishe from the Sidbury and Sidford Branch and David O'Connor from the Sidmouth Branch were in attendance. Tom Harris who is about to join the Royal Marine Band played "The Last Post."

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As part of our 90th Anniversary initiative 'social outings' a group of members and supporters of the Branch thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Bristol including a tour of the SS Great Britain last Friday. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the SS Great Britain is the world's first iron hulled screw driven ocean liner propelled by a combination of steam and sail power and launched in Bristol in 1843. She is the centrepiece of a stunning, all-weather, multi award-winning visitor attraction. 

The group explored under water, below the glass 'sea', tested their skills with giant interactive displays, discovered the true story of the ship, her passengers, crew and experienced life on board including the good the bad and the smelly! 

The SS Great Britain criss-crossed the Atlantic to New York, also to South Africa and sailed around the world 32 times which is more than 1,000,000 miles at sea.  She started as an Emigrant Steam Clipper in 1853 when she sailed to Australia. 

The SS Great Britain also served as a troop ship in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny later becoming a cargo ship.

The ship was eventually scuttled in the Falkland Islands in 1937 and after 50 years as a storage hulk was brought back to Bristol in 1970.  Exactly 40 years since its return it has been restored to its former glory.

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The recent social outing was enjoyed by a group of  Members ans Supporters who took the Jurassic Heritage Coast Route to Abbotsbury. We visited  the Swannery with around 6oo mute swans, where we observed Swans incubating their eggs, fluffy cygnets from 6 days old onward, and the grain feeding of the swans with interesting commentary. 

Then on to the nearby 20 acre formal and informal Subtropical Abbotsbury Gardens, with stunning high level views of Dorset's World Heritage Coastline - to quote Alan Titchmarsh -  " one of the finest Gardens I have seen". 

Photographs ……   Swans incubating eggs

Branch Member -  Pat Street feeding swans with grain

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

Greenway Trip

We are pleased to be able to support the guidace of our County Chairman, Ralph Howard Williams , by arranging a trip to promote  'comradeship' and 'new Membership'  taking a group of Members and Friends to the National Trust Property Greenway the home of the late Agatha Christie overlooking the River Dart, last Sunday. It was a glorious day with an excellent display of primroses, Camellias and Magnolias at their very best. 

The tour of the house was very informative, everyone appreciated the restoration carried out by the National Trust.
The Hon Secretary also told the Herald that applications for Membership to the Branch had also been received.
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.Veterans News

Sir John Cave in his official capacity as Vice Lord Lieutenant of Devon & Branch President of Sidbury and Sidford Royal British Legion at the AGM on Tuesday night 24th November presenting Mr Anthony Ward R.A.F. with his Veterans badge in recognition of his services in the UK Armed Forces. 






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