Legion report

SIR - Well, yet another year has nearly gone by and before it is over I should like to thank you for your support to the Sidmouth branch of the Royal British Legion.

During this year the branch has taken part in numerous activities some pleasant and some sad. We held coffee mornings to support the branch funds and, of course, the poppy fortnight. This was well organised by our present poppy organiser Mrs Sue Pink and, of course, standing by her side as always willing to help her, her husband Chris. Sadly Sue is giving up her position as Poppy Appeal Organiser so we are now looking for someone to take on the position.

The parade through our town on Remembrance Day, November 11, was well conducted by our parade martial Mr Richard Waring; well done, Richard.

Our Standard carrier Mr John Hayes was very active during the second week of the poppy fortnight carrying the Sidmouth Branch Standard at Honiton on Wednesday, November 7, Exeter University on Thursday, November 8, Sidmouth Garden of Remembrance on Friday, November 9, our town parade on Sunday, November 11 and, finally, at Sidford at their Remembrance Service at 6pm on the 11th.

Going back slightly, Saturday, October 20 was also one of the main events for our branch this was the unveiling and Dedication Service for the Sidmouth Valley Tribute which was unveiled by Rear Admiral R.F. Creadle C.B. who is also the president of the Devon Royal British Legion.

The service was conducted by the Rev David James and the event was well attended with a buffet at the Conservative Club afterwards. The event could not have gone ahead without the sponsorship and donations by local organisations and individuals: The Keith Owen Fund, our local town council, Devon County Local Budget, Mr & Mrs Davies, The Conservative Club Dancing Club, Bradfords building merchants, Thorn Garage Salcombe Hill, Sidmouth Garden Centre, Kings Garden Centre, John & Theresa McCarthy, John O’Halloran RAF Air Crew Ass. There are many more who donated; I truly thank them all.

As mentioned before this structure is a tribute not a memorial. The tribute is the plaque facing east, the eagle (Eric) is just a focal point.

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I would also like to point out that the structure is not a climbing frame as some thoughtless individuals might think, having left marks made by their shoes. Why can’t some mindless individuals look and admire the tribute not cause damage.

It is over 70 years since the Armed Forces were stationed in our Sid Valley and seven years bringing this project to life by myself.

Sidmouth Branch of the Royal British Legion is going through a difficult time with membership diminishing. We are looking for new members to join; you don’t need to be an ex serviceman or woman.

The legion is one of the biggest organisations in the country with subscription of only �13 per year - this works out at less than the cost of a Mars bar per month. Finally, I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year for you and your families.

Dave O’Connor

Chairman Sidmouth Branch The Royal British Legion