poppy field




May 2011 

"To endeavour to ....control such a people is to court misfortune and calamity.
The Afghan will bear poverty, insecurity of life; but he will not tolerate foreign rule"
Sir John Lawrence, Viceroy of India, 1867.
from "InAfghanistan" by David Loyn.


Branch Membership  has fallen to 213 following the passing earlier in the year ofVernon King, John Vickery and Richard Griffith,all of whom were staunch Legion supporters, and to whose families and friends we offer our condolences. May they Rest in Peace. The Branch was well represented at the funerals of all three men, and the County Parade Marshall, and the County Standard Bearer attended in two cases.

Attendance  at our monthly meetings has also fallen this year in spite of having some excellent guest speakers. Why this should be is unclear, and we shall continue to strive to provide interesting talks for the benefit and enjoyment of those members who still support us. Next month (June) the subject  is The Gurkhas and The Gurkha Welfare Trust, then in July the speaker will be a member of The Honourable Artillery Company who will explain the ceremonial duties of  The Company of Pikemen and Musketeers. Both of these sound very promising. August is vacant at present but in September we look forward to hearing about today's Royal Navy from our own member Captain Mike Martin RN, OBE. Just to remind you, the meetings are all held on the 2nd Monday of the month starting at 8pm in Watlington Memorial Club, and all members and non members are welcome.

 In April a group of 22 Branch members and friends enjoyed an interesting day visiting the wartime code breaking centre atBletchleyPark; It is hoped to make more such visits from time to time in the future.

The Garden Fete will be our next main event: As usual it will be held on Bank Holiday Monday August 29th at Church Close by kind permission of the Mogg family. There will be all the usual attractions, but as this year marks the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the Legion we hope to make it an even bigger and better occasion than ever. The event will start at 1230 with a Hog Roast and of course there will be teas & cakes later on.
As always if anyone has books, good quality bric-a-brac, bottles or raffle prizes to donate, they would be gratefully received:  please contact the Chairman (613105) or the Secretary (612288).


 Poppy Appeal. After three very successful years as our Branch Poppy Appeal Organiser,      during which time our annual total increased year on year,JuliePolkinghorne decided to hand over the collecting tins and MrsPennyBoas very kindly volunteered  to step into the breach. Our sincere thanks go to Julie for all her dedication and hard work, and a warm welcome goes to Penny who has taken over with a minimum of arm twisting! The National total for this Poppy Appeal year, which ends in September, currently (mid April) stands at £34,131,954 to which our contribution to date is over £7500.00.

Insurance.As a matter of interest members may like to know that RBL insurance cover for volunteers has been increased from 85 to 95 years of age. This has come about mainly due to the number of active caseworkers over 85, but includes others such as Poppy collectors as well.

Telemarketing Activity. If you have supported one of the Legion's raffles you may be called (or you may already have been called) to ask you to enter the Legion's weekly lottery known as Poppy Lottery. There are two companies making these calls, and if you want to check their bona fides for security they are: Pure Associates in Brighton tel; 020 3194 7510, and Insight based inNorwichtel; 01603 764442.

Poppy Breaks  Members wishing to take advantage of a Poppy Break at Somerset Legion House, Weston-Super-Mare should apply for details to the County Office at Thame, tel; 01844-216961. Applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:-

  • From a household with annual income less than £25000.00.
  • From a one parent household suffering a bereavement or break up of the family.
  • From a family with one parent currently serving on overseas operations.
  • From a family who have one parent suffering from mental or physical trauma.
  • From a family where one parent is caring for a disabled partner.
  • From a family who have not had a holiday away from home for three years.

Not everyone has heard of the Defence Discount Directory which offers discounts on all manner of goods to members of the Forces AND to Legion members. The on line version is even more comprehensive than the printed one and is regularly up-dated; it can be accessed at www.forcesdiscounts-mod.co.uk  Check it out and see how much you can save.


And finally:

Hospital regulations require a wheel chair for patients being discharged. However one day a student nurse found an elderly gentleman sitting on the end of the bed fully dressed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted that he didn't need any help to leave the hospital.After explaining the rules he reluctantly allowed the nurse to wheel him to the front door. At this point she asked if his wife was in the car to meet him: "No" he said. "She's still upstairs in the bathroom changing into her own clothes"!