Page 242 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 242

 Lord Bathurst visits Bath and West
 The Taunton Reunion
The Taunton Reunion is short-hand for a highly successful event that incorporates and encom- passes SCLI, LI, RIFLES, SOMERSET LI Malaya & Malta/Cyprus. The 35th annual reunion took place on Saturday 27th April at the Lawns Social Club, Taunton and were joined by SOM LI veterans who had served in Malaya in the early 1950’s and others who had served in Malta and Cyprus in 1956/57. Due to reducing numbers it is no longer practicable to hold separate functions for such veterans. Meanwhile their presence increased overall attendance and their willingness to socialise with younger Light Infantrymen made it a superb gathering.
Our efforts to attract Riflemen by having the event listed on The Rifles Swift website was
unsuccessful but we shall try again next year. Due to The Rifles Freedom Parade in Truro, which also took place on the 27th April, meant attendance of buglers from The Light Division & Rifles Buglers Association was light. Some were supplementing the Salamanca Band at Truro and only two could join us at Taunton. Nevertheless, they were able to sound several calls during the evening and they were particularly welcome. Things may be back to normal next year. Debbie Hards from the Rifles Office Taunton, ably assisted by Candy Janes, was present and as usual organised the Regimental Shop containing a variety of items. Trade throughout the evening was brisk. A superb buffet was once again prepared by the Club Caterer, Liz Harris which was thoroughly enjoyed by all and for which she was justly praised. Thanks, was also accorded to the bar staff for the excellent service they gave throughout the evening. The confirmed date for the reunion next year, as arranged by Lawrie Hodges, is Saturday 25th April 2020, when once again it will be a pleasure to welcome new and old alike. Please put the date in your diary.
       Taunton Branch
This has been another busy year for the Taunton Branch beginning with our annual dinner at the Oake Manor Golf Club. Our main guest was Brigadier Richard Toomey together with his wife Liza. The Golf Club looked after us very well and we are booked again. Remembrance and the centenary of the Armistice led to many events: the Field of Remem- brance; the Dedication of The Somerset Wood; the Festival of Remembrance; wreath laying at the Burma Memorial; the Civic Service, Parade; and,
wreath laying at Vivary Park.
Our Christmas lunch was held again at the
Golf Club, attended by over ninety members and guests. Instead of a raffle we donated presents to The Children’s Hospice South West. The generosity of members was overwhelming. Our Jellalabad Lunch was held at Taunton Rugby Club on 7th April where Somerset ACF’s Band ‘The Silver Bugles’ produced an excellent marching display and music programme. Amongst attendee’s it was good to see Ian and Jan Hill and David and Rosie Farrant who made it all the way from Dartmoor.
A hired coach took members and guests to the Reception and Sounding of Retreat by ‘The Silver Bugles’ at the Royal Bath & West Show. Armed Forces Day Veterans Parade at Weymouth was our next outing, the coach left Taunton at 8.00 am so we could debus at Weymouth before the town centre was closed off. Road works and diversions caused some concern but we made it with five minutes to spare. The weather was perfect for both Service and Parade and there was an excellent turnout of Light Infantry members. We now look forward to our annual bar b que and this year our annual lunch in lieu of a dinner. On a sad note we have lost Jim Paul our historian and informant of all things Somerset Light Infantry who sadly died in March. Our thanks go to Bob Staple the Branch Standard Bearer who has attended a multitude of functions and funerals with the Standard. Our thanks also go to Lawrie Hodges, our hard-working secretary, for his organ- isation of our monthly meetings and administering the postal members section of the branch; we could not do without him. We must not forget the Ladies who each month organise our raffle and help in a multitude of ways.

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