To the memory of the fallen
And the future of the living
Welcome to The Royal British Legion in Wiltshire
We are to administer and support the delivery of welfare services and the membership and fundraising activities of the Legion's branches and clubs throughout Wiltshire.
Membership of The Royal British Legion is available to all adults, not just members or ex-members of the forces and we always welcome new members. Drop into your local branch or click here to find out how you can join.
Take Part in the Cenotaph Parade 2016
If you would like to march on the Cenotaph Parade this year please email the Membership Support Officer (MSO) at email@example.com with the following information:
- Title (Mr, Mrs, Miss etc)
- Initials and Surname
- RBL Membership Number
- Whether ex service or civilian
- Contact email and telephone number
Applications must be sent to the MSO by 24 June 2016
Armed Forces Day Celebrations 25th and 26th June 2016
This year there are several events taking place around the county so why not get out and enjoy one near you.
Swindon has celebrations taking place at the Rugby Club on Greenbridge Road from 9am to 9pm.
Trowbridge is hosting a two day event with lots of stalls and displays happening.
Royal Wootton Bassett will be holding an event on the 25th too.
There are events all around the area with some just over the county border.
Follow this link to find more events: AFD
The Battle of Jutland and the Somme 100 year Commemoration
The Battle of Jutland was the principal naval battle of the First World War. As such it provides an opportunity to commemorate the sacrifices and contributions made by all those from the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, fishing fleets, shipbuilding towns and coastal communities who continue to guarantee our maritime nation’s security in peace and war.
The following national and regional events are taking place on 31 May to mark Jutland 100.
- A national commemorative event, broadcast by the BBC, will take place on Orkney, including a morning service at St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall and an afternoon service at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Lyness on Hoy.
- The Royal Navy is hosting events at Portsmouth, Plymouth, Chatham, Belfast (including the opening of HMS Caroline and the Commemoration to the Irish Sailor) and Queensferry on the Firth of Forth.
- The National Memorial Arboretum is hosting a service at its Naval Memorial at 11am.
We have tried to make it as easy as possible for you to take part or build your own commemorative event. Just download your toolkit for Jutland 100 from www.britishlegion.org.uk/Jutland100.
In the toolkit you will find the following items to help you run your event:
- The Act of Remembrance, music and readings you could include
- Branded material to help you promote your event, including poster templates
- A press release template, to help you generate local interest
- A brief history of the Battle of Jutland
- The story of ‘Jutland Jack’
- Stories of LIVE ON beneficiaries
The Battle of the Somme is synonymous with our memory of the First World War. The infamous first day remains the bloodiest day in the British Army’s history, involving sixty-thousand casualties, twenty-thousand of whom were killed.
Commemorations will be taking place between 30 June and 18 November to mark the centenary of the 141 days of the battle’s duration.
More information and a different toolkit will be communicated separately for Somme 100 by mid-April. The Somme 100 toolkit will be available both digitally and for order by post.
We really hope that with this support you will be able to run an event that best suits your community.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commemorative pins can be obtained from our county fund raiser Fiona Dobson. Contact the Cottage for how to get hold of them
Tisbury are holding a Somme Commemoration event on July 2nd at 7.30pm in St Johns church Tisbury. A poster is available here for anyone wishing to attend or advertise it.
RBL Womens Section Changes. Your Questions and Information
You will have seen in the February Circular that Women’s Section is to become a District of the RBL. This decision has caused quite a lot of disquiet and many letters have been sent to Head Office. Head Office have now issued a document listing questions and Head Office answers which explains the background to the decision and how Womens Section will run in the future. Click HERE to go directly to the document
As you will be aware, one of the Legion’s priority campaign's has been around compensation awards for veterans diagnosed with Mesothelioma.
It is with much pleasure that I write to inform you that the Government announced yesterday that legislation will be amended in April 2016 to enable all veterans diagnosed with Mesothelioma as a result of Service the choice between receiving a traditional War Pension or £140,000 in tax-free lump sum compensation, regardless of age at diagnosis. The average civilian compensation award under the Government’s Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme is around £122,000.
Whilst the law won’t be amended until April, the Ministry of Defence has indicated that payments will be backdated to the date of the Government’s announcement, which was at yesterday’s meeting of the Central Advisory Committee. From 16 December, all veterans diagnosed with Mesothelioma who submit a claim to Veterans UK will receive a traditional War Pension as normal for the period up until April 2016. After that date, should the claimant decide they would prefer to receive a lump sum payment, Veterans UK will arrange for this to happen, with the value of any War Pension already received being deducted from the final lump sum award. We understand that independent advice will be offered to all veteran Mesothelioma claimants to help them decide which payment option is right for them, given that War Pensions include survivor's benefits.
The Legion has long maintained that veterans should be compensated fairly for their suffering, and we commend the Government for taking steps to address this important issue. Whilst we welcome yesterday’s announcement, we do remain disappointed that around 60 veterans who are currently in receipt of a War Disablement Pension for Mesothelioma will be unable to apply for the new lump sum compensation award. This is on account of successive governments’ longstanding opposition to retrospection. The Legion has informed officials of our disappointment and has suggested that this particular group of veterans should be considered worthy of ‘special’ status within the terms of the Armed Forces Covenant, in light of both their limited life expectancy and the severity of their pain and suffering. We are pleased that the Government has indicated that it will review special arrangements for this small group of veterans, and we will continue to monitor developments closely.
The Legion estimates that the Government’s recent announcement will benefit veterans diagnosed with Mesothelioma by tens of millions of pounds over the lifetime of this issue, which is a sizeable sum in the present financial climate.
The Legion’s campaigns team would like to thank all of our members who championed this campaign locally or wrote to their MP about this important issue. We simply couldn’t have done this without you.
With best wishes for the New Year,
The Freedom Trail
During WW2 there were many routes out of occupied Europe that were taken by Allied Servicemen. One of them was through the Pyrenees from France into Spain. This route is now a route for the adventurous amongst youto take and retrace the steps of those that did it during the war. A trip itinerary can be found here along with a couple of pictures. Details of how to join the trip are in the itinerary.
NEWS and EVENTS Page Updated 27th April 2016
Standard Bearers page update 26th February 2016
A Great Way to Support the Poppy Appeal and get a great Tune too
Buy it or download it here
The latest County Circular has lots of news and events advertised in it this month.
Therapies 4 Forces Relaxation Day
Somme Memorial Event 2016
2016 marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. To mark this very special anniversary the Department of Culture Media and Sport and the French government have taken on the running of the commemorative event. This link will give you more details on how you can be involved and at the service on July 1st 2016
Rewards for Forces are offering discounted cinema tickets. See attached flyer
Head office are hoping to get branches involved in a Welfare Project. Do you feel your branch could help with this initiative? Attached is a flyer to give an idea of whats involved.
National Conference Membership Council Report
MEMBERSHIP – A YEAR IN REVIEW
A short résumé of David Whimpenny, Chairman of the Membership and author of the above report, shows a committed RBL champion. Why not read it and then click the above link for the report?
Chairman (Board of Trustees Member)
David was elected to the Board of Trustees in May 2013 serving as
Chairman of the Conference Committee before being appointed Chairman of
the Membership Council in May 2014 and Chairman of the National Memorial
Arboretum Board of Trustees in November 2014. He is a serving officer working in the Army Headquarters where he is responsible for assuring
Occupational Health and Safety and Corporate Manslaughter in the Army.
He uses every opportunity to promote the Legion amongst his serving colleagues.
Wiltshire Riders Branch
Allen McIlvar, who runs the Wiltshire Riders Branch, has asked me to let you know that he is very happy to give a presentation about the Riders Branch to your Branch Meetings.
You can contract Allen via the County Office email address or follow this link
COUNTY POPPY APPEAL LAUNCHED
Click the Poppy Appeal Link on the left for details and some great photographs
Volunteering to Help
If you would like to do some voluntary work with the Legion please have a look at the following link. VOLUNTEERING TO HELP.
LATEST LEGION UPDATE now on the News and Events page
The Cottage Drop In dates Tidworth information available here
CAN YOU HELP PLEASE ?
We desperately need a Poppy Appeal Organiser in
Click HERE for details
NEW BOOK OUT NOW
A book has been published on the memoirs of a serving soldier of WWII.
Richard Isaac has put his fathers war time experiences down on paper and is selling the book "Behind Enemy Lines" with a portion of every sale going to the RBL. Arthur Isaac from Salisbury was a member of Wingates Chindits and saw service throughout Burma. The book looks like being a great read and as well as supporting the RBL it can only be good. Currently available from the Salisbury Branch of the RBL or you can contact Richard HERE for details on where to buy the book.
The Legion and the Centenary
Details in a PDF file on the RBL Centenary Projects that will be updated throughout the year. Take a look and print a copy off for your use.
The Contact Centre (new free phone number: 0808 8028080) which is open from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week.
More details on the updated Pathway for Growth pages
View our News & Events calendar for more information on what's happening.
To find out who to contact in your area please see the list of Branches on our branch information page.
Poppy Appeal Photo Gallery
Enjoy our photo gallery of all our fundraising efforts.
About The Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion is the nation's leading Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is also the national Custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem the red poppy.
Pathway For Growth
PATHWAY FOR GROWTH
The New Way of Working introduced by the Pathway for Growth Programme is in place. There are three ways for those needing our assistance to contact the RBL:
- The Knowledge Base which is accessed through the RBL website http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/can-we-help
- The Contact Centre (new free phone number: 0808 8028080) which is open from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week.
- Face to face meeting with a Caseworker or Case Officer.
If the Knowledge Base does not answer the query, or if the individual does not have access to a computer, then the next port of call is the Contact Centre. This Centre is now working 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm. If the Contact Centre is not able to resolve the issue then it passes the details of the case to the Area Advice and Information Team Leader (AITL). The AITL will then pass the case onto the local Case Officer (CO) and they will allocate the case to a caseworker who will arrange to meet the person making the enquiry.
There are two Case Officers in Wiltshire, Kerry Webster and Sandra Long. However, we are short of converted caseworkers which has created a backlog of cases. The Advice and Information Team leader (Kate Walton) will run another caseworker conversion course in Swindon on 21 February which will help reduce the backlog. Currently both Wiltshire’s Advice and Information Officer posts are vacant: it is the job of these officers to run drop-in sessions around the County so these sessions are on hold until the posts are filled. The training programme for new caseworkers (as opposed to conversion training for current caseworkers) has not yet been written but once it is confirmed, training for new caseworkers will begin.
Under the New Way of Working there will be opportunities for more Volunteering roles. A form of Expression of Interest in Volunteering is at this link
If you would like to volunteer for one of these roles please complete the form and send it to Fi Hedges whose address is at the bottom of the form.
Alistair Maxwell Area Manager Somerset and Wiltshire
Fi Hedges Area Administrator
Laura Carey Area Advice and Information Team Leader
Kerry Webster Case Officer 0808 802 8080
Isobel Thompson Advice & Information Officer 0808 802 8080
Sandra Long Case Officer, Tidworth/Salisbury/Warminster Area
Gemma Carter Advice and Information Officer, Tidworth,
Fi Dobson Community Fundraiser Wiltshire
Christopher Prestwich County Secretary Wiltshire