Page 233 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 233

The Rifles Office
Shrewsbury –
the Midlands
Shropshire County Notes
A quiet year in terms of Rifles activity, with no Freedoms being exercised. A parade planned for Bridgnorth in September 2019 had to be postponed as the Band and Bugles became unavailable. The annual Light Infantry and Rifles Reunion at the Shrewsbury Town Football Club took place in June 2017, as is reported elsewhere in this edition of The Bugle.
The five-year series of weekly First World War services at St Chad’s church came to an end in June 2019, with every Shropshire soldier killed in that conflict having been remembered by name on the centenary of his death. The main driving force behind the KSLI input into this commemoration, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Osborne, passed away just before the final service, but we remain extremely grateful to him, to June Osborne and to Claire Crackett from St Chad’s for organizing and running such an important event.
The demolition of Copthorne Barracks is now complete, and a sea of new houses is flooding in all around the island that is the Army Reserve Centre (ARC). Where there were once four married quarters overlooking the sports field, there are now fifteen new houses almost ready for occupation, while along Copthorne Road, where the guardroom and MT once stood, a row of new “executive homes” is under construction. Only the Keep remains, awaiting conversion into luxury apartments once the 240 other houses on the site have been built and sold. Such is progress!
Several artefacts from the Barracks, including the Light Infantry Brigade Depot plaque, the KSLI and Hereford LI badges from the main gates and the date stone from the Officers’ Mess have been rescued and are on display within the ARC.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Trelawny has returned as Regional Secretary (Midlands), ably assisted, as always, by Heather Morgan. The Rifles Office continues to operate inside the ARC and all visitors are welcome. Just press the button, smile at the camera and wait to be let in.
We remain very grateful for the support of the County Colonel (Lt Col Nick Jenkins), E Coy 8 RIFLES (especially PSAO Capt Vaz Vazquez and QPSI CSjt Decca Winter), the Light Infantry and Rifles Association branches in Shropshire and our landlord, the West Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association.
   Shrewsbury Branch
The Shrewsbury Branch continues to thrive with 129 paid up members. This number is down on last year and we do welcome members from all the services and other Regiments, plus friends of the Regiment, many of whom have worked or been trained at Copthorne Barracks. We do need younger blood, to secure the future of the branch.
We continue to be hosted by E Company, 8 RIFLES, holding all our monthly meetings and dances in the Army Reserve Centre. Captain Vaz ((PSAO) and his team are excellent hosts, always supportive and give excellent and sound advice.
Our spring and summer dances have once again been outstanding with both being well attended and we know that the coming Christmas Dinner Dance should be a sell out. Our away day to Liverpool was brilliant with 41 members attending. The weather was fine and sunny and a wonderful day was had by all.
Throughout the past year the branch has again made an outstanding contri- bution in their charity fundraising efforts. £240 was raised from various raffles for the KSLI Museum located in the Shrewsbury Castle as well as £250 to help offset the cost of the restoration of the Lady Butler painting also located in the Shrewsbury Castle and £250 was also presented to the Forces Ortho- paedic Ward in Gobowen near Oswestry. Last but not least our Annual Reunion Tombola Stall raised £317 of which £150 will be presented to the new ACF Bligny Band and Bugles and £167 to support our branch funds for welfare and social events.
The branch, as would be expected, had a fantastic turnout at the Annual Reunion weekend. The weather was excellent and a great time was had by all. The 2LI get together was again hosted by E Company, 8 RIFLES in their Reserve Centre with over 200 in attendance. The PSAO Vaz and his team worked their socks off ensuring everyone had a night to remember.
We continue to support and play our part in the various events organized by the Rifles Office and town authorities. Events
include the Reunion weekend, Mayors Sunday,
Remembrance Sunday and the County-Wide
Shrewsbury Branch Meeting 2019
 Association Dinner night.
In summary, I would like to take this oppor-
tunity to thank the hard working Shrewsbury Branch Committee for all their hard work during this year which they do for the benefit of their branch members.
Major (Retd) Dennis Crook MBE (Denbo) Shrewsbury Branch Chairman
Shrewsbury Branch Buglers

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