Posts Tagged ‘Royal British Legion’

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Local RBL members make historic pilgrimage

Posted on Sunday 14th October 2018 at 7:57 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of a group of standard bearers at the GP90 event.

On 8th August 2018, five members of the Stoke Gifford branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL), alongside thousands of other Legion members, recreated the march to the Menin Gate in Ypres that took place 90 years ago.

The original pilgrimage was organised to commemorate 10 years since the end of WW1 and gave veterans and war widows the opportunity to visit the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres before marching to the Menin Gate on 8th August 1928. Exactly 90 years later, the Great Pilgrimage 90 took place.

Karen Falconer (standard bearer), Antony Peters (wreath layer), John Moloney (branch chairman), Brian Hewitt MBE and Veronica Caradine attended the event as representatives of the Stoke Gifford branch of the Royal British Legion. Karen and Antony were part of the one thousand plus members who led the spectacular two-mile march through Ypres to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Menin Gate memorial.

When describing the event, John Moloney said:

“Being part of such an historic event, representing Stoke Gifford branch in commemorating those that lost their lives in the First World War, was an honour and something I will never forget.”

The march past was observed by invited diplomatic, civic and military guests. As part of this ceremony, each of the 1,152 Royal British Legion branches attending from the UK and overseas (as far away as Thailand, Hong Kong and the Falkland Islands) brought a wreath with them containing a Remembrance message from their communities. The wreaths were subsequently arranged into a display on the ramparts of the Ypres town walls and will remain in place for public viewing for at least two months.

More: "It was a fabulous occasion, the atmosphere was incredible…" »

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Your local British Legion branch needs YOU!

Posted on Saturday 6th October 2018 at 10:04 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Billy Wilde collecting for the Stoke Gifford RBL at Cribbs Causeway.

The Stoke Gifford branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) is urgently calling for new volunteers to come forward to help with this year’s Poppy Appeal collections, which started on 1st October.

The branch fears that it will be unable to fully staff its usual stands in the large local supermarkets, and also at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, due to a number of long-serving helpers having to retire from the role due to old age or frailty.

If volunteer numbers cannot be restored, the branch fears it could lose a significant proportion of what it currently raises in the area – approximately £100k for the Bristol Poppy Appeal (and ultimately for members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and their families needing our support).

Branch spokesperson David Bell said:

“We’re making a concerted effort to recruit more volunteers to help us raise this much needed money for the Poppy Appeal. We need volunteers particularly at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Sainsbury’s at Stoke Gifford, ASDA at Filton and the Willow Brook shopping centre in Bradley Stoke.”

Sue Potepa, RBL community fundraiser, Bristol and Districts, said:

“It would be wonderful for a new generation of volunteers to join us this year for the Poppy Appeal. Anyone can volunteer for these roles and if people could spare just a few hours to help, it would be really appreciated.”

Billy Wilde, 17, a student at Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS), is keen to emphasise that people of all ages can help out. He said:

“I have been volunteering for the RBL since I was 5 years old and I have really enjoyed raising money for such a worthy cause, whilst making many new friends, of all ages, along the way. To be able to see how so many of our ex-servicemen and women are helped by the money we raise is incredibly moving.”

More: Other volunteering opportunities are available »

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Legion members to join WW1 anniversary pilgrimage

Posted on Saturday 28th July 2018 at 3:46 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of the GP90 cheque presentation.

Five members of the Stoke Gifford branch of the Royal British Legion (SG RBL) are travelling to France and Belgium this August to commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1 by taking part in the Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90).

In the biggest membership event in its history, the RBL is recreating its 1928 pilgrimage to World War One battlefields. A decade after the end of WW1, veterans and war widows visited the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres before marching to the Menin Gate in Ypres on 8th August 1928.

Exactly 90 years later, thousands of Legion members will recreate the 1928 Great Pilgrimage to visit the same battlefields and then, carry their standards along the same route to the Menin Gate, to commemorate the last 100 days of WW1 and represent an entire generation that served while defending their country. Once at the gate, a remembrance service will be held and afterwards, Legion members and spectators will head to the Great Square for an afternoon of exhibitions and musical performances.

Karen Falconer (standard bearer), John Maloney (wreath carrier) and Tony Peters will be representing the branch at the GP90, where they will visit the battlefields and then proudly march to the Menin Gate with the thousands of other Legion members. Brian Hewitt and Veronica Caradine will also be in attendance as spectators.

More: Local South Glos councillors award £1,000 grant »

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USA cycling trip is raising funds for British Legion

Posted on Thursday 17th May 2018 at 9:28 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of Matthew Moran ready to leave for his fundraising trip across the USA.

A 56-year-old resident of Stoke Gifford has embarked on the trip of a lifetime to raise money for the local branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL).

Matthew Moran flew to San Francisco on 1st April and is going to spend three-and-a-half months cycling across America. Matthew isn’t making the trip easy for himself, as his route is going to see him take a few detours on his way across the country. He began his journey by heading south from San Francisco to take in some of the Californian coastline before heading east to Fresno. After Fresno, Matthew will conquer the aptly named ‘Death Valley’ en route to Las Vegas. Once there, he plans to visit the Grand Canyon before slowly continuing on to the city of Denver through ‘Monument Valley’.

After Denver, Matthew will head South East towards Memphis, via Kansas, and on arrival, will be able to take in all the Mississippi river has to offer. Another slight detour will see him head predominantly north as he aims for Chicago, before heading east towards Washington D.C. via yet more famous cities such as Cleveland and Pittsburgh. After three-and-a-half months of gruelling cycling, Matthew will reach New York, bringing his sponsored trip to an end.

Matthew has already spent time raising funds for the RBL when, in 2011, he was joined by his son Fraser and together they cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Again, they decided not to take the most direct route and instead took in five of the highest peaks in the UK, making their journey 1,100 miles instead of the normal 830 mile distance. With support from friends, family and members of the local community, that trip raised over £2,000 for the RBL. This time around, Matthew has a target of raising £7,500 for the charity.

More: How to support Matthew through his JustGiving page »

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