poppy field




Dear Members,


As always there have been a few changes in our membership since the last Newsletter: we have been joined by six new members and we warmly welcome to our ranks Mr & Mrs Lilly and Donald Lilly, Mrs V Fitzwilliams, and Mr D Eddleston.But sadly we have to record the passing of three long standing members, Mr K Weightman, Mr R Wade, and Mr O Knowles,all of whom have recently passed away. Ken Weightman served in the 8th Army as a tank commander before being taken prisoner in Italy; Richard Wade served in the RAF, and Oliver Knowles was in India and the Far East with the RIASC ending the war in the rank of Lt Colonel. The Branch was represented at all three funerals, and we extend our condolences to all their friends and families, and hope that all three may Rest in Peace.



It's Subscription time again!

As all members will know there is no increase in the Affiliation Fee this year and it remains at £11.00pp, but it is due on 1st October. Those of you who pay by Direct Debit should already have received your 2008/9 cards and the money will have been collected automatically from your bank account. If you are aCash payer all we ask is that you Please pay promptly and save the officers and the Branch a lot of time and expense chasing. As always there are 3 ways to pay:-

  1. by cash or cheque payable to the Royal British Legion to any committee member or at a Branch meeting.
  2. by cheque through the post to the Secretary at the address at the top of this Newsletter.
  3. at Watlington Post Office. Once again we are indebted to our Postmistress and her staff for this service, and in case anyone is unaware of the details all you have to do is leave your £11.00 (cash or cheque) in an envelope clearly marked with your name and "Royal British Legion subscription" It will be collected and your new card will be sent or delivered to you. It couldn't be any easier so if you haven't done it yet, Please do it NOW. Thank you.


 The "winds of change" have been blowing through the Memorial Club since Q-Tass pulled out at the end of July, and we understand that the Bar is about to reopen under new management any day now. Meanwhile our monthly meetings in the Town Hall continue to be very well attended and we have enjoyed listening to talks on a wide variety of subjects by guest speakers. A few dates for your diaries include the AGM on November 4th, and a social evening on December 2nd which we hope will be attended by Group Captain Paul Lyall, Station Commander RAF Benson, before leaving Benson for his next posting; then next year Professor Neville Brown, an ex-Watlington boy well known to many of you, will be visiting us in March '09.


Remembrance time will soon be with us once again and our new Poppy Appeal organiser, Julie Polkinghorne, will be hoping to improve on last year's collection total. We are very grateful to the Parish Council who have allowed us to use some loft space over their office for the storage of Poppy material, and hopefully this will enable us to dispense the boxes and trays in an orderly fashion. Our new MP, John Howell, has kindly agreed to "launch" the Appeal fortnight at the War Memorial onFriday 24th October at 11am. All members and friends will be welcome to attend this small ceremony which will involve John "buying" the first Poppy, and a photo shoot for the Press. If you can spare a little time to help with the collection in any way please don't hesitate to give Julie or the secretary a call on 613917 or 612288, we would love to hear from you.


The Legion's latest campaign called "Return to Rationing" is aiming to draw attention to and improve the financial situation of thousands of ex-Service pensioners by telling the public about the hardships suffered by many older veterans. For the first time the Legion will be campaigning alongside Age Concern who as we all know is a National charity dealing specifically with the needs and interests of older people. We should all have received by now a postcard to be filled in and returned (Freepost) and these will be delivered in bulk to the Government. If you have not received such a postcard and would like one in order to show your support for the campaign, please phone the Secretary. The last Legion campaign,"Honour the Covenant" was incidentally highly successful in focussing on compensation, medical treatment, and support for bereaved families.


Following the success of the first Windsor Castle Tattoo last May from which all profits went to the Legion it has been confirmed that next year's event will be held on 13-16 May, and once again all profits will go to the Legion.


And finally here are a few crazy labels which might help to raise a smile in these grim times:-

On a bag of crisps; "you could be a winner, no purchase necessary (details inside)."

On a Tesco dessert pudding - printed on the bottom "do not turn upside down"

On an M&S pudding - "product will be hot after heating".

On a Rowenta ironing machine - "do not iron clothes while on body"

On Nytol sleep aid - "may cause drowsiness".

On Virgin Airline packet of nuts - "instructions- open packet, discard, and eat nuts".

On Boots children's cough medicine - "do not drive your car or operate machinery".