poppy field




Dear Members,


Membership News


Once again and sadly we begin this Newsletter with news of the passing of two of our members, namely Don Stanmore who served in the Coldstream Guards, and Ian Sweeney, ex Royal Navy. We offer condolences to their friends and families and hope that they may Rest in Peace. On the positive side we warmly welcome six new members to our Branch and they are Adrian Garside ex R Tank Regiment, Graham Poole ex RAF, Major Richard Laws ex RA, Ms V Laws, Graham Ross, and Flt Lt Campbell Blake RAF.  The total Branch membership now stands at 236, and new members would be more than welcome.



Branch Matters


Outings: The response to the question posed in the May edition on the subject of Branch Outings was less than encouraging; only 7 reply slips were returned and of these only 4 were in favour so we'll take that as a "no" vote on the matter.

Meetings: Continue to be well supported although the July one was less so, possibly due to the atrocious weather on the night.

Speakers:  Recent talks have been on Headstones and Memorials, 18th Century Fire-arms, the Thames Valley Air Ambulance Service, and Alec Powell on his time in the REME, all informative and enjoyable. The diary for the remainder of this year is now complete: In September Peter MacKinnon, who was there recently, will talk about the recent troubles in Western China between the Han Chinese and the Uighers. In October Sqn Leader M C Allen, RAF will talk about her experiences during the hand over of Basra to the Americans earlier this year; on November 3rd we shall be holding the Branch AGM when we hope to enrol some new members on to the committee; and finally in December a group of Chefs from RAF Benson will entertain us with some Xmas fare. All these dates are firm and can be entered into your calendars now.

Welfare: Eileen Hopkins continues to struggle to find volunteer drivers to transport members to hospital; there have been only three regular drivers but one of these is about to retire leaving just the two plus a small number who can be called upon occasionally. The requests for our help never seem to diminish and we really do need more people who would be willing to help even if it's only now and then. If you can help please phone Eileen on 612627.






Annual Garden Fete will again be held on August Bank Holiday Monday in the garden of Church Close starting at 2pm. There will be all the usual attractions for both young and old, and for the first time a Line Dancing display. As always we shall be grateful for your donations of books and bric-a-brac (to Dick Stillwell 613105), cakes to (Debbie Hemmins 613269) and bottles (to Eileen Hopkins before the 29th August please.


The Garden Fete Draw will take place at about 4pm on the day. Many thanks to those of you who have already returned your counterfoils and ticket money, but if you haven't done so yet it would be very helpful if you could do so before the 31st of August. As you all know the Draw is to help raise extra funds for the Branch bearing in mind that our other annual fund raising event, namely Watlington Festival, did not take place this year. As well as the top three prizes of £100.00, £50.00 and £25.00, there will be many other attractive items which have been donated by local businesses and individuals. Please support the Branch by buying your tickets.


Gift Aid

The records show that a number of members who could be eligible have not yet registered for Gift Aid. It is a simple procedure and costs you absolutely nothing but by doing so the Legion can recover £3.08 from the Inland Revenue every year for every member. To be eligible you have to be a UK Income Tax payer either on your salary, pension, or by way of savings. Many members have ticked the Gift Aid box on either their original Application form or on the replacement card holder form, but it is possible that some may have missed doing it at the time and have since forgotten about it. Accordingly a Declaration form is being attached to this Newsletter for some members and if you receive one all you need to do is sign it and return it to the secretary at the address above. It really does help. If you don't receive a form but think you are eligible please ring 612266.


Other Matters

Members may like to know that most, if not all, of the Servicemen killed in Afghanistan whose bodies are repatriated to RAF Lyneham are transported to the John Radcliffe hospital, and when this happens many local people as well as a number of Legion Branch Standards and members turn out to line the route close to the hospital entrance. Of necessity when this happens the notice can be quite short and the timing is not always precise, but if anyone would like to be notified of any of these occasions so that they can attend please contact the secretary and your name will be kept on a list to be contacted when information of a repatriation is received.



As part of our campaign to recruit more members in to the Branch we are planning to send a flyer to all households in Watlington. This means that members as well as non members will receive it and for that we apologise in advance, however if it encourages you to persuade your friends and/or neighbours to join us it will not have been entirely wasted. There are still many people who think they are ineligible to join the Legion because they have not served in the Forces, and it is up to all of us to explain that this is not the case. Anyone can become a member.

            The bigger the Legion membership, the louder its campaign voice.


A Century of Fatherhood.

            Testimony Films are making a documentary for the BBC about Fatherhood over the last 100 years, and invite contributions from men who may have an interesting story to tell either about being a Dad or about their own Dad. They are particularly interested in exploring the effects that WW1 and WW2 had on family life. If anyone would like to be involved or would like more information about this project they should contact Pascal Emmenegger c/o Testimony Films, 12 Great George Street, Bristol BS1 5RH; telephone 0117925 8589; e-mailresearch1@testimonyfilms.com