Latest Head Office E-Newsletter

The latest version of the members e-newsletter can be found here.

Branch Accounts Deadline September 31st

Would all branch treasurers please be good enough to submit your accounts by the end of September. 

If you are having any problems please do get in touch so I can help to resolve. 

I have also arranged with our RBL IE Anne Bevis to hold Open Days on the dates below where you can pop in your completed accounts, come in with any questions , have your accounts IE by Anne or any other general enquiries:

Please member to bring all your receipts, paying in books, chequebooks stubs and any other account receipts with you if you would like Anne to IE your accounts. 

Myself and Anne will be at the following locations from 11:00 – 3pm on the dates below: 

13th August – Swindon Area Office, 52 – 54 Regent Street, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1JS

14th August – The Red Lion, Salisbury, Churchill Suite, Milford Street, Salisbury, SP1 2AN

3rd September - Swindon Area Office, 52 – 54 Regent Street, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1JS

27th September  - The Red Lion, Salisbury, Churchill Suite, Milford Street, Salisbury, SP1 2AN


Kind Regards 

Fi Hedges



New County Vice Chairman

At the recent County Committee meeting we said farewell to current Mike Challinor and his good lady Priscilla as they leave the county to move to Shropshire. 

This left the vice chairmans position vacant and we are pleased to announce that......

Squadron Leader John Mann MBE RAF (Retd) a current member of the CCEX  and President of the Potterne Branch has kindly agreed to take up the position for Wiltshire and is very much looking forward to working with all the branches and CCEX Committee as the County Vice Chairman.

This is the very man:

As an introduction John has penned a brief service history which can be found here.




Standard Bearers Competition 2019

This years competition was as ever hard fought and the entrants produced a close contest.
The final results were:
RBL Standard Bearer Competition
1st. Kevin Toft  Seend Branch
2nd. Dale Williams Westbury Branch 
3rd.Peter Hall Melksham Branch

Womens Section
1st Amanda Berryman 
2nd Tracy Butt

Congratulations to the entrants and of course the winners.

 Photos here .  And here





Update as to WHY Darren is Doing a Runner!

Because its all in a good cause. Well two to be fair. Pop over to the page for more information

Well done Darren and good luck with it sport.

Follow this LINK to his Just Giving page.

Why not help him reach his targets? Every little helps. 

 Step Together 

About Step Together Volunteering:

  • Step Together helps those people most in need of support to transform their lives through community volunteering. Working through a team of outreach workers we provide tailored one-to-one support to help individuals into volunteering placements that match their needs and interests, and help them develop the personal and practical skills required to build a more positive future.


  • Step Together Volunteering has supported the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans since 2012. We have staff based in Edinburgh, Catterick and Tidworth.


 More Info HERE


Poppy Pin Soldier

Many of you will recall Wayne Cherry and his magnificent 100 Hours of Remembrance last year.  Wayne is now attempting to cover this silhouette with Poppy Pins from the last few years of Remembrance. As you can see he is part way there but could do with a little help to complete the project. He is looking for any and all donations of the poppy pins that you may wish to donate. Please do what you can from 1 to 100 pins. Wayne thinks he needs about another 1000 to finish.Contact him via his FACEBOOK page   

Great Pilgrimage GP 90 

Well the trip has been and gone and many many members were able to attend. Our MSO Fi Hedges was there and took a HUGE number of photos. As its such a massive number, 1400+, I have created a folder offline from the website for anyone who wishes to have a peruse. Thanks Fi. 
Link to the photos. Just click here.

The Reflections of a Standard Bearer.

Ron Fraser reflects on his service for his branch as he stands down after 10 years

Great War Memorial Booklet

Robert Wellen has sent in some information on a newly published booklet regarding Salisbury Diocese Bell Ringers who were called up during WW1. Details are available here

Royal Charter Consultation

Dear All

Please find email sent on behalf of Sandra Fruish ( assistant Director of Membership) below.

Please can you circulate this to your Committee and Members: 

I am also trying to see if I can arrange a face to face meeting for the Consultation in Swindon in the next month so will email this out if it is possible.;


We’ve been advised to review our royal charter and would like all members to give us their input and guidance  The advice we’ve been given comes from charity legal experts who have gone through our Charter and concluded that it doesn’t follow guidance on what is nowadays considered to be best practice


 The Royal Charter is made up of three elements – the Articles, the Rules and the Governing Regulations – the order of precedence for these being outlined in this graphic (right). There are also a number of by-laws and standing orders on various topics. Reading through all the documents, it soon becomes clear that there’s significant duplication with sections of our Membership Handbook, while a number of inconsistencies stand out. It’s also possible that the documents could be made more flexible, allowing us  to serve the Legion’s beneficiaries




 The survey is now open at

 We will be dedicating two days on Yammer to the consultation where a member of the Project team will be available to discuss with you any issues or questions you wish to raise. 

These will be

  • Monday 20th August, 1000-1500
  • Thursday 19th September, 1000-1500

Whilst these events have primarily been created to reach out to the membership of the Overseas and National branches, all are welcome to participate.   

Sent of behalf of:

Sandra Fruish MBA MSc

Assistant Director Membership

Kind Regards

Fi Hedges


Membership Support Officer - Wiltshire


Devizes News Letters

Devizes have sent through news letters they produce for the branch and great stuff it is too.Pop over to this page and have a look. Thanks to Wayne for the info.

East Knoyle Branch Remembrance Sunday Photos

This was received from East Knoyle, Semley and Sedghill branch following thier decision to get the standard cleaned. As Ron says its "Only 93 years old" so is it an antique? Great stuff and a credit to the curators in my humble opinion! 


Commemorative Pamphlet From East Knoyle

A fabulous pamphlet has been produced by the East Knoyle, Semley and Sedgehill branch and the village council commemorating villagers that joined up during WW1. Please take time to have a look and see what a wonderful job has been done by everyone involved. Just click on the title above.

Pictures from the recent East Knoyle village fete can be seen here. Good to see the branch doing the flag waving bit. Thanks for the photos to Ron Clark 

We have been advised of a special offer from Head Office which may appeal to some of our member. Details can be found here with a poster for download 

We have been advised of an upcoming book launch that may be of interest to members. A poster for download is available here and the author has sent the following information.

My late father's book titled  'My Underground War'. is his memoirs of the five years he spent as a prisoner-of-war during WWII. He typed them in the 1970s, and they subsequently vanished into a storage box, which came to me after he died. I recently edited and published them.

The first half of the book covers his capture near Dunkirk in 1940 and his experiences in the Stalag VIIIB PoW camp. For most of this time he endured forced labour and occasional beatings in a coal mine. The second half deals with his escape from the ‘Death March’ and his liberation by the Red Army. 

This is a gripping yarn of capture, resistance, and liberation, revealing for the first time how he and a close-knit group of chums carried on the war despite their imprisonment, and even got away with killing a couple of Nazi guards who had ruthlessly bullied frail prisoners. It has initially received excellent reviews.

The relatively short book is available exclusively from as either a Kindle download or a slim paperback. Here are links to the pages on Amazon for the Kindle and paperback versions.

As shown on the updated County Circular information here there is an  "Expression of Interest" form for any member willing to help in any capacity around the county. Please help if you feel able to do so.



Great Pilgrimage GP 90 

Well the trip has been and gone and many many members were able to attend. Our MSO Fi Hedges was there and took a HUGE number of photos. As its such a massive number, 1400+, I have created a folder offline from the website for anyone who wishes to have a peruse. Thanks Fi. 
Link to the photos. Just click here.


The  County Conference Awards

At the recent county conference in Trowbridge the various cups and awards were made. A few photographs can be found here

Highworth Chairman at the GP90 Parade

Link to a Swindon Advertiser article covering Gerry Evans, chairman of the Highworth branch of the Royal British Legion attendance at the GP90 parade in Ypres.

Highworth Poppy Rocks

Great idea from Highworth branch. Pop over to this page and check it out.

Purton During WW1

My name is Rick Dixon and I have written a book on the Great War - Purton in the First World War - which I feel will be of interest to some of your members.  The book covers the events and causes of the war (from Napoleonic times) in the first 13 chapters; the course of the war in a month by month timeline from August 1914 to November 1918 (52 chapters); and the subsequent effects of the war leading to the Second war and modern-day problems (10 chapters).

The book is a précis of the war in 220 pages and in colour wherever possible and is priced at £15 (profits to Combat Stress).  It is skewed towards the names of all from the village of Purton (Wiltshire) who served in the war telling their stories within the overall war setting.  The actions of the men whose names are on the Purton Cenotaph are brought back to life.  Although the names are specifically from Purton, the experiences and consequences are typical of most villages and small towns in England.  It also has stories provided from local people remembering events of the time as it affected their families.  The book has been well-received by both Wiltshire Libraries and Swindon Libraries who have bought multiple copies, and Gloucester City RBL who are keen to promote it.  The work has been serialised in Purton Magazine starting in 2013, and will continue until July 2019.

The publication of the book has been timed to coincide with the Centenary Commemorations of the 1918 Armistice and all profits will go to the services charity Combat Stress.

I would be grateful if you would be able to let your branches know about the book which is available by post from me: Rick Dixon, tel 01793 759123, email  There is no additional charge for postage.

Highworth Chairman at the GP90 Parade

Link to a Swindon Advertiser article covering Gerry Evans, chairman of the Highworth branch of the Royal British Legion attendance at the GP90 parade in Ypres.

Just Giving Page for Bobs Sky Dive

Sky Dive 2018

Poppy Appeal Organiser for Market Lavington, Wiltshire, Bob Naylor will be joining the 'Thank You' Sky Dive with The Red Devils on Sept 18th in aid of The Royal British Legion. Bob is aiming to raise a good sum of money for the RBL and every penny counts. Please support Bob via his Just Giving page here


Salisbury Touchpoint Launched

Follow this link to the full story

County Conference 2018

The County Conference took place on the 13th January. Minutes will follow but meanwhile back at the ranch here is a small selection of photographs of the eventand a list of prizewinners. GALLERY

The County Chairmans address to conference and the County Vice Chairmans address to conference can be seen on the relevant links above

At the conference the annual awards of silverware were made to branches. The full list of of winners and runners up can be seen here


Salisbury Cathedral Evensong to Commemorate The Centenary of the End of the First World War  – Sunday 10th June 2018 

More information and pictures here

Glider Pilot Regiment

I have had information regarding the Glider Pilot Regiment Society from John Nicholls. 

"This enquiry is on behalf of the Glider Pilot Regiment Society.    The society has been formed by relatives of the GPR since the close of the GPR Assoc. last year. Our main aim is to keep the memory of the men and Regiment alive.  The Army Air Corps has always supported the GPRA at memorial services etc but due to cuts throughout the MOD can now only support at major events. As a society we would like to continue as many commemorative events as we can, one of these being at the Memorial Stones of the Glider Pilot Regiment and the Parachute Regiment.
We are holding a memorial service at the Stones on 24th Feb at 11.30 hrs   We have invited anyone from the Parachute Regiment Assoc to join us if they wish (this will be advertised within their assoc when I can give them final details) and we wonder if this is the type of event that your local branch might be in a position to support?
An update is -  that we will meet at Tilshead village hall which will be open by 10.30hrs to make sure that we can be at the memorial stones for 11.30hrs start. Hoping for tea/coffee available prior to and after the service.  I will keep you informed of any progress."
Heres a flyer with information about the newly formed society and if you would like more information about this service or to add your name to the list of people attending please  email John  direct.

Happy 99th Birthday sir

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On Monday of last week Vic Reed reached the remarkable age of 99!  The Bromham branch decided to celebrate this event by presenting him with a bottle of 'the good old mountain dew'  He is seen here on the left of the picture, with his lifelong freind and companion,  Ivor Grardener, on the right, sampling this appreciatively.  They have been virtually inseperable since joining the Wiltshire T.A. before the war.  They landed on Gold Beach on D-Day, and fought their way out of France by way of Caen, under their leader, Feild Marshal Montgomery.  They were members of the Mortar Platoon in The Wiltshire Regiment, and were only seperated when Vic recieved leg injuries at Else, near Nijmegen, and was repatriated.  He nearly lost his legs, but the doctors managed to save them.  Ivor soldiered on, eventually helping the prisoners at Belsen Concentration Camp, after its relief.They both worked together after the war at the Avon Rubber Co.  We also sent a lovely bunch of flowers to Vic's wife, Doreen, who is, sadly, confined to a home.  A grateful French Nation made them members of the Legion d'Honneur, for their efforts in releiving France, which they richly deserved!

     I am Pete Holt, Bromhams Standard Bearer, and they have done me the honour of being flanked by the pair.  I will never let them suffer the embarassment of knowing that they are my heroes and role models.  On a quiet evening, over a glass of the 'dew' they occasionally let me in to their world, telling me what they think I might understand.  I am no spring chicken, obviously, but whwen they landed on Gold Beach, I was 3years and a month old!   Without them I might very well not be here. So heres to both of them, and long may they survive!

Crockerton School say Thank You

Warminster Branch members Alan Aiken, Bob Waignwright and Roger Kingshot attended Crockerton School Remembrance service and by the llok of it made a big impression. Heres a copy of a thankyou letter from pupils at the school. I believe the technical expression for this kind of thing is "BRILLIANT" 

A Message from Charles Byrne Director General 


Dear Members,

Thank you to everyone for all your hard work over the last months, weeks and days preparing for and delivering this year’s Poppy Appeal and Remembrance period. And I know for many that your work continues to be just as busy. The levels of support I have seen from the public, from volunteers and members and from partners has been superb.  

I want to share with you information about Our Purpose, our five year strategy and the Veterans Gateway programme. 

 We do a huge amount at the Legion and not everyone understands the range of all our work so it is important that we are all clear about what we do, why do it and how we can each play a part.

So we have taken time to consult with trustees, staff, members and the general public to build a shared understanding, a shared purpose.  

We are at the heart of a national network that supports our Armed Forces through thick and thin – ensuring their unique contribution is never forgotten.

Inspired by those we support, our aim is to offer the breadth, depth and quality of service they deserve. We cannot do this on our own.

Our new five year strategy follows simply from this. Central to our strategy is collaboration between members, volunteers, staff and our many partners. Given this I am delighted to announce that with our principle partners at SSAFA, Combat Stress, Poppy Scotland and Connect Assist, we have been awarded a £2 million grant from the MOD to establish the Veterans’ Gateway programme. The programme will provide a single point of contact to ensure that all British Armed Forces veterans, wherever they are based, can get help quickly and efficiently from whichever organisation is best placed to provide it.

Please click here to watch a video in which I summarise our strategy and provide examples of what it will mean for us. In addition we are developing a number of resources for you, about Our Purpose and our strategy, which will be distributed through your branches. 

Best wishes, 

Charles Byrne 

Director General

Airmans Cross Service

Details of the service can be found here

British Palestine Police Association AGM

Following an appeal to Fi Hedges for a Standard Bearer to help with thier AGM in Swindon. This is from their Secretary, John Tyrrell: 


Every year during the last weekend of October our Assocaition holds its Annual AGM and Remembrance Service. The event takes place at the Blundson House Hotel ( North East of Swindon) and we need a Standard Bearer to part in the service on Sunday Morning 29th October 2017. Ideally someone who will be able to parade our new BPPA standard. Although we are not a miltary organisation, the dress code for the Service wil be formal with Association ties, blazers and medals. 


So what to do? Well an appeal for help went out and was answered by Dale Williams. Following his help Mike Williams sent this email:

Dear Dale
I can’t thank you enough for carrying our Standard on it’s first parade, made us very proud to see it there.
You are a great credit to the Royal British Legion, your appearance, bearing and drill were impeccable. Several people commented very favourably.
I am sorry I did not have the opportunity to say goodbye before you went off so please accept my sincerest thanks “for a job well Done”
Yours sincerely


Well done Dale and on behalf of Wiltshire County thanks for upholding the high standards of the Royal British Legion.


County Conference Minutes

The minutes from the Wiltshire RBL County Conference are now available for your perusal here.

There are a few photographs here of the conference and the prize presentations. If you attended and have pictures you would be happy to have on the site please contact Keith Passant

News Snippets

Rewards for Forces are offering discounted cinema tickets. See attached flyer


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 for the 2017 trips.


NHS Services Mental Health Strategy

In April this year the NHS announced the new services available to serving personnelabout to discharge from the Armed Forces and for Veterans. An NHS document is available to read by clicking this link.

 NI Investigations Stance

The National Chairman has sent a letter to all Chairmen stating the RBL stance on the NI investigations. That letter is available for you to see by following this link.

Battle’s End – The Last Day of the Somme – 18 November 2016

The Royal British Legion, in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, will mark the centenary of the final day of the Battle of the Somme with a Drumhead service at Thiepval Memorial, at 13.30hrs on Friday 18 November 2016. The event will bring to a close our stewardship over the previous 139 days of the daily wreath laying ceremonies, whilst re-affirming the Legion’s commitment, through the Somme Branch, to its enduring annual role at Thiepval.
The event will be ticket only. In recognition of their support, Members of the Royal British Legion have the opportunity to apply for tickets in advance of the general public. Tickets will be available to Members from midday on Monday 03 October. Members will have 5 working days to apply for tickets (2 per Member) before they also become available to the general public at 5pm on Friday 07 October 2016.
All tickets will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Once all seats have been allocated, bookings will be closed. 

To apply for tickets, please complete the online form at the following link: from midday on Monday 03 October 2016.

Information to assist with your application:

Due to the current security situation, all attendees are required to supply security accreditation information.* When completing the online form, you will need to have the following information to hand for yourself and your guest: Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Passport Number.

To enable us to manage arrivals and departures, please use the attached information sheet as a guide and indicate on your application how you intend to travel to and from the event. Attendees will need to fund their own costs of travel and any accommodation.

* N.B. This information will be used for security accreditation checks only. In line with data protection regulations, your details will not be used for any other purposes.


Somme 100 Commemorations

Somme 100 

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

Commemorative pins can be obtained from our county fund raiser Fiona Dobson. Contact the Cottage for how to get hold of them 

Ron Clark, Secretary of East Knoyle Semley and Sedgehill branch sent in some photos of the Somme Memorial Service held in the village and they can be viewed here

Croix de Geurre Award for Ben Tottenham 

 I have received this note from Ben about his award.

I received my Legion d'Honneur medal on Monday 3rd October from the 
French Ambassador herself at the Residence.
The attached website has some very good pictures. I hope you can pick 
me out by my Belgian Croix de Guerre when thanking her in French!
My rank as a TA officer was Lieut Colonel. Commanding the 

There are many more photos on the site from the awards ceremony



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.

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