Page 244 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 244

Somerset Branch The Rifles and RGBW Association
The Somerset branch of the Rifles and RGBW Regimental Association are keeping strong and active with numerous activities and functions. Last year’s branch outing was a steam train excursion from Bishop’s Lydeard to Minehead complete with a fish & chip supper! The outing coincided with a WW2 forces day theme at every station, greatly appreciated and enjoyed by the 40+ members and partners who attended. In November, members took part in numerous county-wide events for the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 and Remem- brance Day. Our traditional Christmas function was once again held at Pawlett RBL Club and much fun was had by all. Guests included Mrs Debbie Hards from the Taunton office and volunteer, Mrs Candy Janes. Those who went to Gloucester for the Back Badge reunion were not disappointed. It was another well executed day finished off with a great meal and catch up.
Our own main function of the year, the Imjin Lunch, was also a resounding success. Held at Taunton RFC, 140 members, guests and friends turned out to enjoy a fabulous meal and comradeship. Another superbly organised raffle and auction raised £500
which was donated 50:50 to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Parkinson’s UK. A big thanks to all those who organised and helped on the day, and those who attended; we look forward to seeing you all again next year.
During the Imjin Lunch, Sonia Miller and Mike Kemish were each awarded the Presidents Certif- icate of Appreciation awarded by Brigadier P E O’R-B Davidson-Houston. The Presentation was made by Colonel Michael Cornwell, Association Chairman. The awards were well deserved for all their hard work and dedication during the past 10 years. In addition to the above awards, Phil Miller was presented with a branch citation for outstanding service as branch secretary for the past last 11 years. Phil has now handed that batten over to Martin Talling and a new Chairman will also be voted in shortly after Steve May stepping down, we also have a new president in Alan Ladds who took over from Mike Motum. Much is owed to these branch stalwarts who have performed their duties diligently and with great character.
We have maintained close links with other local associations, particularly the LI and RE from Taunton and regularly attend each other functions and activities; we share many great similarities both geographically and Regimental. We have jointly attended the National Memorial Arboretum, Jella- labad Day and the Bath & West Show during the past year. We owe a big thank you to the Taunton Office and Association Secretaries for communi- cating and organising some of these great events.
This year we have also included additional support and awareness for our widows, which sadly increased by two over the past twelve months. We now ensure that widows are further included in branch activities and get invited to functions; we can also supply a padre service if required. As our old & bold membership declines every year, it is our duty to ensure the ranks are replen-
ished with new members, both from the old regiments and from The Rifles. If you know anyone in Somerset who would like to join
our ranks for some great fun, good company and the odd tipple, please ask them to
get in touch.
  Lydney - Korean War Remembered
On Sunday 14th April 2019 the Forest of Dean Branch Standard Bearers and members of The Rifles and RGBW Regimental Association gathered at Bathurst Park, Lydney to lay a wreath at the Korean Oak Tree. This annual ceremony, held at the approximate time of the battle of the Imjin River, is attended by the Mayor of Lydney and members of the public. This year we were joined by Col Tony Ayres, The Rifles County Colonel, who laid a Rifles wreath.
Before the laying of wreaths Maj Leslie Ramsden gave a brief account of 29th Independent British Infantry Brigade’s actions at the Imjin River and those of 1 GLOSTERS. In April 1951 word of the stand by the ‘Glorious Glosters’ became front page news in UK and USA. Unfortu- nately, Roy Mills, our Korean veteran and prisoner of war was unable to attend this year’s ceremony due to ill health.
Forest of Dean Standard Bearers – Ray Vale, Duncan Cameron and Scott McBryde
   Debbie and Candy at the Pawlett Christmas Lunch

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