Not forgotten

I make a regular monthly donation by standing order to the Army Benevolent Fund, and because of that I receive a British Legion newsletter ('Poppy Press') telling of people the Legion has helped and of other ways in which it is active. If you're not up to date with how the British Legion is working for ex-servicemen and women you might like to take a few minutes to read this extract from the latest edition. Goodness knows it took me a lot longer that a few minutes to type :D

Paraphrase of front page item: 'Rescued from the cold'.
87 year old D-Day veteran Robert Henderson's boiler blew up on New Years Day 2004, leaving him and his wife without heating or hot water. Broken council promises meant that Robert, who has angina, and his wife who is also very ill, would be without heating or hot water for six months - including the coldest months of the year.

Cold claims the life of 32,000 people each year. Robert and his wife soldiered on, but inevitably suffered. Eventually the local MP was alerted to their plight. She immediately contacted the British Legion. Within days the Legion provided the funds from the Immediate Needs Scheme to have a new boiler fitted. Robert said; 'It was recognition that someone actually cared when the Legion came to our assistance. It made a huge difference…' (abridged for reasons of space and laziness).

Paraphrase of inside page article: 'It only took a moment'
One night in October 2003 Sarah Massey, aged 24, who had a promising career in front of her servicing jet fighters, was driving her car in Scotland when another car hit her head on. Her injuries were near fatal. Two and a half years later, Sarah was still struggling to come to terms with the trauma. In August 2005 Sarah was transferred to the Legion care home. Speech therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, and occupational therapy have helped. Her future is still uncertain but Sarah says; 'I feel positive again about my future. I thought I would never feel positive again about anything again but the Legion has changed this.'

Some Events in 2006

St George's Concert, 20th April
'This is a chance to celebrate being English (ironic somehow, that Herrenbloke's no longer around) hosted by Martyn Lewis with celebrity readings and music from the choir of St. George's, Hanover Square (Probably London, but it doesn't specify) and The Band of the Blues and Royals. Tickets for this and the post-concert reception £25 or £55.
For details ring Rebecca Pride on 020 7973 7255 or email

Somme bike ride
Held to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of The Somme. For medium to fast cyclists (14-18mph). Visits to historic sites in the region. Same contact details as above.

The Freedom Trail, 3rd-10th July
A four day hike following the footsteps of the many Allied servicemen who escaped across the Pyrenees and into Spain during WWII.
Details from Nick Hammer on 020 7973 7285 or email

Arrsers, do what you like with this information. I just wanted to let you know that despite the current disillusionment (especially with the government, MOD and CoC), servicemen and women are still immensely respected and cared for. It's not all bad, despite what you might feel.

As Dave Allen used to say, may your god go with you :D

Edited to add: names are taken from the published magazine.

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