The Forest of Dean Branch
Forest of Dean Branch meetings are held on the last Tuesday of each month at 12 noon The Orepool Inn, Sling, Coleford GL16 8LH
We are here to welcome you so why not come along for a chat, swing the lamp and enjoy a pint...or two!
Contact Point and Secretary:Scott McBryde, 9 Beale Close , Bussage,Stroud, Glos Tel: 01453 885513
Treasurer: Mrs Gill Phelps
Social Secretary: vacant
Contact the Standard Bearers via the Branch Chairman or Branch President
News from the Branch
REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL NEWSLETTER INPUT-- FOREST OF DEAN BRANCH.
The Branch continues to meet on the last Tuesday of each month (except December) at the Orepool Pub and Inn. This change of meeting venue was initiated in July 2012. A sit down lunch, with a choice of four main courses and desserts are available, (usually varied) each month .The meals are reasonably priced, of ample proportions and served in pleasant surroundings. The meetings are always well attended, with upwards of twenty Association Members and Guests being typical; including a number of our Old Comrades and Guests from the Stroud Branch.
Members of other Branches and former or serving Soldiers with Regimental connections are always welcome to join us at this friendly facility, situated in an appealing area of The Forest of Dean. Meals provided at the meeting are pre -booked, therefore confirmation of attendance and meal selection in advance is necessary, by contact with Bob Walker (Chairman) or Scott McBryde (Relief Secretary as from Jan 2014).
For information; details of the meeting venue are as follows:
The Orepool Pub and Restaurant,
Telephone: 01594 833883.
Other News Items.
RGBW Association Forest of Dean Branch
The Branch has enjoyed another busy year. We meet for lunch on the last Tuesday of every month at The Orepool pub in Sling. New members are very welcome. Just give our Chairman Bob Walker a call.
Last November a Korean Oak tree, donated by Mr Mike Houghton MBE, was planted in Lydney Park. On 22 April of this year a ceremony was held to unveil a stone plinth and plaque for the Korean Oak tree. The Mayor of Lydney was present at the park, as well as Mr Marcus Scott Russell of Forest of Dean Stone who donated the stone plinth, and Mr Mike Damsell who cut the stone and mounted the plaque. Photos of the plinth and plaque can be seen on the Forest of Dean webpage. The tree is also surrounded by a metal cage to protect it from damage. Rebecka Jessops, a young Bugler from Lydney ATC, played the Last Post and Reveille. After the ceremony Branch Members and Guests retired to The Royal British Legion Club in Lydney for a very enjoyable buffet lunch prepared by Marian Walker, our Chairman’s wife.
On Friday 23 May Branch members attended St Peters Church, Clearwell, for the funeral service of the late Bill Whiffin. Bill had acted as Branch Standard Bearer. Rebecka Jessops was the Bugler at the Church.
Bob Walker and Scott McBryde participated in Gloucester’s Armed Forces Day activities on Saturday 21 June. They attended the Drumhead Service held on College Green outside Gloucester Cathedral. Participants included Regular Serving Personnel from units based at ARRC HQ Imjin Barracks, The Royal British Legion, Cadets, Standard Bearers and Old Comrades. A Parade followed the Service, marching through The City to The Docks. The Parade was applauded along the route by large enthusiastic crowds.
The Branch joined the Stroud Valleys Branch for lunch at The Tudor Arms in Slimbridge on 26 June. It was a very convivial get together and we were joined by Phil and Sonia Miller, whose company is always welcome.
On Sunday 24 August members from the Forest of Dean and Stroud Valleys branches attended the Holy Trinity Church, Drybrook, (also known as The Forest Church), for a Service of Commemoration to mark the start of World War One. After the church service we had a guided tour of the graves of local men who served in WWI and we also joined the congregation for a buffet lunch and exhibition in the adjoining Schoolroom. Our two Branches had answered a call of help from the organizers of the event to participate. Pictures are on the Branch webpage of this occasion.
On Friday 5th September members travelled on the Dean Forest Railway Fish and Chip Special which departed from Norchard Station early that evening. Bob Walker had arranged the trip and luckily members were able to sit together in one carriage. A really great, piping hot, Fish and Chip Supper was served on the train, accompanied throughout the journey by our usual good humoured banter. When the train passed Lydney Park we were able to catch sight of our Korean Oak, which was another bonus. Again, pictures of this occasion are on the Forest of Dean webpage.
A very big Thank You goes to the wives who attend the Branch. Their support helps to make the Branch such an enjoyable group of friends.
The year ends with our Christmas Lunch at The Orepool on 25 November.
Wreath Laying at the Korean Oak at Lydney Park on Sunday 17 April 2016
Members, their wives and representatives from The Royal British Legion attended a Ceremony to Commemorate those Glosters who lost their lives in the Korean War. Roy Mills, who fought in Korea and who was also a Prisoner of War, laid a wreath at the Korean Oak. Rojer Phelps played Reveille and The Last Post. Gloucestershire Regimental and Royal British Legion Standards were Paraded.
Bob Walker and Scott McBryde at Gloucesters Armed Forces Day event
Korean Oak Planting at Bathurst Park, Lydney, Glos at 11:00hrs on 08 December 2013
The Opening address was read by Tony Linker, President of the Forest of Dean Regimental Association, prior to the planting of the Korean Oak Tree by Roy Mills, a Veteran of the Battle of the Imjin River. Roy was accompanied by the Lydney Town Mayor. The Wreath was also laid by Roy Mills. Tony Linker read the Ode of Remembrance and a Bugler from 1 Rifles sounded Last Post, followed by a 2 minutes silence. Last Reveille was then sounded and an Expression of Thanks was read by Tony Linker. Standards were carried RGBW Association and The Royal British Legion. commemorative bronze plaque set in a stone plinth will be erected alongside the Korean Oak.
After the Service of Remembrance at the Clock Tower in Coleford members and their wives travelled down to Clearwell Church for a short service at the grave of Francis Miles VC. Together with children from Clearwell Primary School we listened to Tony Linker, our President, give a short talk about Francis Miles, which went as follows:
Francis Miles, born in Clearwell on 9 July 1896 and died in Clearwell on 8 November 1961. He was a 22 year old private soldier in the 1/5 Bn Glosters at Bois-L'Eveque, France, when his Company was held up by a line of enemy machine guns in a sunken road. He went forward alone and on his own initiative, under heavy fire, shot the gunner and put the gun out of action. Then, seeing another gun nearby, went forward alone and shot the gunner and took 8 prisoners. He finally stood up and beckoned the Company forward who were then able to capture 16 machine guns, 1 Officer and 50 Other Ranks. For this he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He joined up again in WWII in the Pioneer Corps.
Maj Phil Hall MBE laid a wreath on behalf of the Association alongside that from the Clearwell Primary School'
At the Branch meeting on 25 August 2015 a Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Ken Kerley in recognition of his past service to the Branch in the role of Chairman and attendance at the Branch for 15 years. His wife Dot was also presented with a Back Badge brooch.
These are photos taken at the grave of Francis Miles VC at Clearwell Church on 11 November 2015. Children from Clearwell Primary School laid a wreath at the grave with Forest of Dean members in attendance.
Christmas Lunch 2015
Forest of Dean members met for their Christmas Lunch at The Orepool, Sling, on Tuesday 24 November 2015. It was a lively event and the lunch concluded with Christmas Carols. Rojer Phelps, a former Bandsman, played his trumpet and members shouted out requests. Rojer must have been exhausted at the end. Well Done Rojer. And, yes, glasses were full throughout the event,but all those driving were rationed. Which meant most wives had a great time.
Clearwell Cemetery 2016
On Friday 11th November 2016 Forest of Dean branch members met at the graveside of Francis Miles VC at Clearwell Cemetery. Our President Tony Linker gave a short account of the circumstances in which Pte Miles was awarded the Victoria Cross. Standard Bearers Ray Vale and Scott McBryde were present and Rojer Phelps played The Last Post and Reveille.
Whilst in London on Sunday 13th for the Service at The Cenotaph, Scott visited the Imperial War Museum and saw the glass case containing the photo of Francis Miles VC and his medals
On Sunday 13th November 2016 Forest of Dean branch members Bob Townley and Scott McBryde attended The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph as part of the RGBW Association contingent. 10,000 Veterans were present and this year the RGBW Veterans formed part of Column A near the front of the Parade. Bob and Scott can be seen in row 4 of the Regimental Association. HRH Prince Charles took the Salute at Horseguards Parade
Members met up on 29 November at the Orepool, Sling, for our Christmas Lunch. During lunch Ken Meek and his wife Sandra were delighted to be presented with a Plaque of Appreciation for all their support to the Branch over the years. After much joviality, cracker pulling and raffle, we all sang along to carols played by Rojer Phelps on his trumpet. A fitting end to a lovely lunch. We all meet up again on Tuesday 31st January 2017 at the Orepool.