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Friday, 20 March 2015

Royal British Legion Newsletter

The Royal British Legion
Milford-on-Sea Branch
Branch No. BR1886

Spring/Summer 2015 | 18th March 2015

As winter, albeit a rather mild one, gives way to summer I take this opportunity to report to you on recent and Forthcoming events.

Freda's Supper organised by the Women's section was well attended and all present appreciated the entertainment provided by the Women's Institute. All men present attempted to serenade the ladies with a selection of tunes from WW1. However, failure of the backing music made their efforts rather more amusing than melodic. The ladies made no complaint.

Concert by the Central Band of the RAF

This was a coup for the Legion and for the village. The following report by Chris Hobby says it all.

For those members present the concert performed by The Central Band of the Royal Air force, under their Director of Music Flight Lieutenant Richard Murray, at All Saints Church on 7th March was a fantastic and most memorable evening. With almost a full church of nearly 300 people the audience was treated to a variety of music to suit all tastes. With a full compliment of 35 band personnel they took over all the carpeted area from the communion rails to the back of the choir stalls in the chancel. To the tune “Old Comrades”we were able to parade the Branch Standard and that of The Women's Section together with The Standard of the ATC New Forest Squadron - our thanks to the standard bearers for their efficiency and smartness on parade. From the opening music it was so evident that we were privileged to have such a top class military band playing for us. With pieces from the film War Horse to Shepherds Hey, Nassun Dorma and West Side Story the quality of their playing was such that the music “talked” to us. Under Flight Lieutenant Murray's excellent comparing the evening's programme flowed smoothly along. Who could not be moved with the rendition of The Evening song and Sunset-no wonder that we all stood for that!

With the addition to the Band's own vocalist of Corporal Matthew Walker of Miss Mehreen Shah, from Sway, we were treated to a sentimental reminder of some of the favourite songs of the last war. Meheen then led us in a last night of the proms finale of Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory in which our Union Jack Flags were well and truly waved and our patriotic voices came to the fore.

To stage the event was as you would have expected very costly and we are grateful to the generosity of the sponsorship received from those purchasing the the advertising space in the programme and in particular to our former chairman David Green who gave us a very large personal cheque to help defray the cost of the evening. At the end of the Concert the cadets from the ATC were on hand to help relieve us of any spare cash in the collecting buckets and peoples generosity was such that over £425 was collected thus enabling us to make a profit in excess of £2,500 from the event for the Poppy Appeal.

Our very grateful thanks to Jan England, Mike Reed, Chris Hobby and their team of helpers for their hard work in achieving such a wonderful result. 

Gallipoli Campaign Commemoration Service

The Gallipoli Campaign in the First World War started with an unsuccessful attempt to force the Dardanelles by Naval bombardment. When this failed assault landings were carried out on Cape Helles and Anzac Cove on 25th April. Initially the campaign went well but there was a slow build up of men, ammunition and war materials and the small advances were halted on 1st May.

By the 8th May realistic hope of a breakout was gone and our troops efforts was focussed on holding the ground held. Further landing at Sulva took place in August and once again, after initial success this stalled. Finally in November evacuation was ordered and this was completed by January 1915.

There were 115,000 British casualties in this campaign three of whom came from Milford-on-Sea.
  • William George Green of the Hampshire Regiment
  • Charles Reynolds of the Hampshire regiment
  • Justus Watts George of the Dorset Yeomanry
These men were never found and their names are recorded on the Helles Memorial.

A short service of commemoration will take place at All Saints Church at 3pm on Tuesday 28th April.

The service will be conducted by Canon Ray Hubble and the standards of Milford on Sea Royal British Legion, the Women's Section and the Hampshire Comrades will be paraded.

Every one is invited to attend and to take tea and biscuits in the Guide hut after the service.

Royal British Legion Summer Lunch

Following the success of last year's 80th Anniversary lunch at South Lawn we have decided to try a less formal approach this year as we continue to commemorate the first world war and also VE Day in World War 2.

This will take the form of a French themed lunch at the Community Centre on 15th May. The catering, serving and entertainment will be provided by our own members, supporters and friends and it gives us an opportunity, once more, to combine commemoration and comradeship.

Further details are shown on the attached booking form and I urge you to respond quickly as we can only accommodate some 80 guests.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Armed Forces Day will take place on 27th June and the Royal British Legion, Women's Section and other charities supporting the ex services community will be on the Village Green from 10am to 3pm together with representatives of the cadet forces. There will be a display of militaria as well as several stalls offering a range of goods. 

Thank you for your continuing support to the branch. I look forward to seeing you at our forthcoming events.

The Royal British Legion
Milford-on-Sea Branch
Peter Gibbs - Branch Chairman

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