RBL busy year

On behalf of the Sidmouth Branch of the Royal British Legion, I would like, once again, to thank the residents of Sidmouth for their continuing support during the past year. Once again, you have shown your generosity and it has been very much appreciated.

During this last year, your branch of the Legion has been extremely active. In June, the branch organised its Armed Forces Day. The march through the town onto the three corner plot was led by our Town Band, where they were in concert while cream teas were served. Our thanks also go to the Trefoil Guild for their support.

It was good to see other organisations attending and also the chairman of East Devon County Council and members of our Town Council marching with us.

Two seniors of our branch also attended: 100-year-old Mr Stan Coles and 99-year-old Mr Joe Daniels.

Two coffee mornings have been held, one in September and one in November, at the St John Ambulance Hall, which was well attended. During the course of this coming year, more have been arranged.

November this year, our Poppy Appeal, due to your continuing support, was successful and our thanks go to our Poppy appeal organiser Sue Pink and her merry band of helpers who collected the sum of �15,779 during October 29 to November 13.

The Garden of Remembrance Service on Friday, November 11, was extremely well attended with the laying of individual poppy crosses and a service around the War Memorial.

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At 11am on the dot, the rockets exploding in the air indicated the start and finish of the two minute silence.

On Sunday, November 13 (Remembrance Sunday), the Sidmouth parade stepped off from outside the Co-op store at 10:40, once again led by our talented Town Band, through the town, up Church Street, and halted by the museum.

This year access was allowed into the Parish grounds with the steps at the south side of the War Memorial having been closed off.

On the arrival of the Parish choir, the Rev David James conducted the service - there was a two minute silence instigated by the playing of the last post, then the reveille.

Wreaths were laid by numerous organisations after the service. I personally have not seen so many taking part and in the street.

On Friday, December 2, the Sidmouth Branch held its annual carol service at All Saints Church hall followed by refreshments. This, once again, was successful.

In conclusion, I would like to add that there have been some happy events but also some sad events; your branch has lost several members and they will be sadly missed.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year and thank you.

Semper Fidelis.

Dave O’Connor

Chairman, The Royal British Legion (Sidmouth Branch)