a review of 2018 national conference in a very moving presentation was given by mrs brenda hales...

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    Saturday 19th May am. Conference opened with prayers and Silent Tribute which included a mention of the late John Crisford OBE, immediate past National Chairman, followed by the Civic Welcome from Councillor Sonia Copeland Deputy Mayor of Belfast. The RBL National President Air Marshall David Walker CB CBE AFC then gave his address. After the previous year’s minutes were accepted the National Chairman, Terry Whittles, also addressed conference.

    A very moving presentation was given by Mrs Brenda Hales whose husband had been tragically killed in Afghanistan in 2009. There wasn't a dry eye in the house and she received a standing ovation at the conclusion of her talk.

    The Dominion President of the Royal Canadian Legion, David Flannigan gave a presentation on their work in Canada. Lunch followed where the Conference Centre personnel had put up a large TV screen in the Exhibition hall so that anybody who wished could watch the Royal Wedding.

    Saturday pm. The session started with Charter motions, followed by Emma Channings, Director of Membership & Volunteering, who gave a brief presentation on Membership issues most of which we were already aware of including Membership cards etc. She also stated that the RBL currently has 275,000 members.

    The National Officers left the stage and the Chairman of the Membership Council, Colin Kemp plus four members of the Membership Council held a forum giving RBL members a chance to ask questions from the auditorium. Questions came fast and furious and were mostly answered by Colin Kemp or if he didn’t know the answer Sandra Fruish, Assistant Director of Membership, came on stage to answer the question.

    Julian Walker, an author, read excerpts from the book he has written about WW1 humour and language a lot of which everybody had heard one way or another but were still quite amusing.

    Paul Harris (Trustee) and Mike Alderson (Membership Council) were next to give a presentation on County Supported Branches. This was very enlightening as basically the scheme means that branches that cannot get officers don’t need to close.

    A bucket collection was held which raised just over £2000 for the Poppy Appeal.

    Sunday 20th May am The morning session started with the presentation of Cups and Awards. As the Essex County Chairman Roger Burgess was unavailable Georgina Swann, delegate for Chelmsford Branch, was asked to collect the Maurice Cup, the award for is for the most efficiently run county which Essex has won for the third year running. She was presented with an acrylic plaque and a hazel tree sapling. (The tree has been given to the County President, Bob Villa, as he has a large garden).

    After the awards had been presented we were given an excellent talk by a 13 year old Youth member, Madison Watkins, a very inspirational and confident young lady, who spoke of the role she plays in encouraging other young people, in her area, to get involved with the RBL.

    More motions were heard and at 11:00 all Standard Bearers and able members assembled in the square outside the Conference Centre where the Parade then marched through the streets of Belfast to the War Memorial outside the City Hall for a Service and Wreath laying ceremony.

    Sunday pm The afternoon started with the final motions being heard. All Charter motions that had been put forward failed and ten motions put forward by various branches or counties were carried and four were lost.

    The National Standards were presented to the relevant recipients and the National Parade Marshal's pace-stick was presented to the new National Parade Marshal, Mr John Grimes, and Conference finished with the customary Service led by the RBL Chaplain.

    There are videos of the parade Youtube UK [win20180520 113210 or https://youtu.be/SNoHubmUVGM] and [https://



    JUNE 2018

    ‘Coming together is a beginning.

    Keeping together is progress.

    Working together is success.’ (Henry Ford)

  • I returned to Essex at the end of Last November after leaving Southend as a teenager to go to the London School of Economics. For most of the intervening years I have been a full time Chaplain with the Royal Navy mostly serving with the Royal Marines. My time with them has included several tours of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq Afghanistan and most recently in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. Aside from that, as many will be familiar with, has been the obligatory arctic, jungle and desert training. I finished full time chaplaincy in November although I continue as a reservist – my unit being HMS President in London. The return to parish life has been a very full one and of course is in the early stages but I am enjoying it as I did my first parishes in inner city London in the 1990s. I also act as the National Chaplain for the Royal Marines Association and am a member of my local RBL here in Leigh-on-Sea. With a traditional parish such as mine at St. Margaret of Antioch, Leigh-on-Sea, it is a daily ministry with several services every day as well as daily pastoral duties and duties

    in our active schools ministry (I am chaplain and governor to one of our three schools in the parish). As a single priest in the parish this means that I am usually reliant on getting cover within the parish for the day if I leave to undertake duties elsewhere and this does require some planning. Nevertheless, I do hope to visit the occasional branch in the county, attend county meetings when I can, be available for advice with respect to “my part of ship “ across the county, and take a lead in key events during the year. I am particularly concerned that our veteran organisations have a sustainable and attractive future for newer retired folk from the military and their families and supporters and believe that an outward looking and charitable mentality with our young and the wider community will prove fruitful in this over the coming years. You may contact me on 07768687605 or davidvictorwylie@gmail.com



    We are the Membership Support Officers for RBL Essex and will help with any branch, club or membership related query. We can be contacted on 01245 347123 or at msoessex@britishlegion.org.uk. Our office is not manned on a Friday.

    We are always keen to meet branches, answer any queries you have or help with issues. If you have a forthcoming branch or committee meeting you would like us to attend please do let us know and we will do our best to come along. We have a Facebook page so do follow us, Essex Royal British Legion.


    Page 2

    County President, Cllr Bob Villa, presenting Essex County Parade Marshall Jamie Robinson with the Hilliard Cane Certificate.


    There is still a vacancy for the post of County Recruiting Officer. For details of what the post entails and any other queries, please contact the MSOs direct to find out more . msoessex@britishlegion.org.uk


    Please let me know of any branch events, past or planned. Please send articles in ‘WORD’ documents, Arial 10pt. Pictures should be in TIFF or JPEG form and not embedded within the article text. Items for inclusion in the County Newsletter should be emailed to Shirley Ratcliffe, rblcoggeshall@btinternet.com


    Page 3

    From the President Cllr Bob Villa

    Remembrance Day Sunday 11th November.

    As mentioned at the County Committee Meeting on the 2nd June Chelmsford City Council are proposing to extend the traditional Service of Remembrance to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the First World War. The traditional element of the service and Parade should remain the same. The Act of Remembrance to take place outside the Civic Centre at the War memorial as per previous years. It is agreed in principle to the Parade taking place following the salute, ending outside Shire Hall with a second part of a service. The Parade route will include Duke Street, Tindal Square, Half Moon Square to Shire Hall. Refreshments will be offered in the Cathedral. It is also suggested that a large screen in front of Shire Hall, projecting poppies falling over Shire Hall or footage from WW1, the screen could also be used for showing the service taking place at the War Memorial and the Parade as it moves from the Civic Centre. It is also proposed that street entertainment and shop window displays appropriate to WW1 theme takes place. Whilst It is understood that many Branches will be organising their own local event. However, it would be appreciated, if Branches could give their support and send a representation to this event to promote the awareness of the Legion. If you are able to represent the Legion at this event, please let me know.

    You can contact me via the MSOs. msoessex@britishlegion.org.uk

    National Poppy Appeal Total: 2017/18: £44,629,779.41

    Essex Poppy Appeal Total:2017/18: £1,343,792.18

    Essex Poppy Appeal 2017/18 is set to have a great year commemorating the centenary of the end of World War One. With many events taking place across the county. (see the June 2018 edition of the Essex Poppy Appeal Newsletter for details.) These events are made possible by the Poppy Appeal Organisers and their volunteers so Thank You for the hard work you all do.

    The process for obtaining tickets to attend the Festival of Remembrance has been changed based on Members’ feedback and to comply with the recent Data protection laws and increased security measures. Th