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
On 17th April members met at Lydney Park to lay a wreath at the Korean Oak in memory of those soldiers who lost their lives in the Korean War.
Roy Mills, who fought in Korea and was also a prisoner of war, laid a wreath on behalf of the Forest of Dean Branch.
Regimental Standards and British Legion Standards were paraded. Rojer Phelps played The Last Post and Reveille.
On Friday lst July, in remembrance of the Battle of the Somme, members attended the War Memorial at Lydney, together with the Mayor and members of the community, to pay their respects to the 13 men from Lydney who had lost their lives during this battle. Standard Bearers from the Branch and the Royal British Legion were present and our Chairman Bob Walker laid a wreath on behalf of the Gloucestershire Regiment. Children from Severnbanks and Lydney Church of England primary schools attended the ceremony and read out the names of those 13 men. The Treasurer of the British Legion’s Lydney Branch gave three blasts on a First World War whistle to recreate the sound that sent British troops into battle on 1st July 1916.
On Friday 11 November members and Standard Bearers attended Clearwell Cemetary to lay a wreath at the grave of Francis Miles VC. Tony Linker gave a short summary on Francis Miles and the circumstances in which he gained his Victoria Cross. Rojer Phelps played The Last Post and Reveille. It was a crisp, sunny morning and members retired to Tony and Rhoda’s house for very welcome refreshments.
On Sunday 13th November Bob Townley attended the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, Whitehall and marched with the RGBW contingent. Bob can be seen in the 4th row. Over 10,000 veterans marched and yet again the weather stayed dry throughout the event.
To end the year the Branch met at The Orepool, Sling, for Christmas lunch on Tuesday 29 November. Another fantastic lunch and get together. Well done Bob Walker and wife Marion for all their efforts in making sure the event went smoothly.
During the lunch Ken and Sandra Meek were presented with an Award of Appreciation (produced by Alan Putterill) in grateful thanks for all their support to the Branch over the years.
Lunch ended with everyone singing carols accompanied by Rojer Phelps on his trumpet. Gill Phelps had produced carol sheets so there was no excuse for not singing and we all did our best to sing in tune. A marvellous end to the year’s activities. We all meet up again for lunch at The Orepool on Tuesday 31st January 2017.
Korean Oak Ceremony
1100hrs Tuesday 18 April 2017
Members and their wives met at the Korean Oak Memorial in Bathurst Park, Lydney, to remember all those who had lost their lives in the Korean War.
Standards were paraded by Ray Vale, Scott McBryde and The Royal British Legion.
A wreath was laid at the Korean Oak by Roy Mills, a Korean Veteran, accompanied by Andrew Gardiner whose brother David had served in Korea. The Chairman of Lydney Royal British Legion, Ian, Hendy, also laid a wreath.
Tony Linker, our President, read the Ode of Remembrance and Rojer Phelps sounded the Last Post. A 2 minute Silence was observed followed by Reveille
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.
Clearwell Cemetery 2017
On Saturday 11 November 2017 Forest of Dean branch members gathered at Clearwell cemetery to lay a wreath at the grave of of Francis Miles VC. France Miles was a Pte serving in 1/5 Bn Glosters when he was awarded a Victoria Cross in recognition of his bravery at Bois-L`Eveque, France, in WWI. Branch President Tony Linker gave a short talk on Francis Miles. Ray Vale paraded the Branch Standard, Alan Putterill laid the wreath and Rojer Phelps played the Last Post and Reveille. They were accompanied by Bob Walker, Branch Chairman, and Rhoda Linker.
Remembrance Ceremony held at the Korean Oak at Bathurst Park, Lydney, Forest of Dean on 22nd April 2018
Members of the Forest of Dean Branch of The Rifles and RGBW Association gathered before the Korean Oak at Bathurst Park, Lydney, on Sunday 22 April 2018 to commemorate those men of the Glosters, and other Units, who lost their lives in the Battle of the Imjin River during the Korean conflict.
Dedication of a Memorial Stone for Pte Miles VC
The Forest of Dean Branch met at The Orepool, Sling on Tuesday 27 November 2018 for their end of year Christmas lunch. Our ranks were swelled by a few new members this year and, as always, we had a very enjoyable time. Our President, Maj (Retd) Leslie Ramsden, gave a short address and it was also nice to see Roy Mills again as he had missed several lunches during the year due to illness. We meet again at the Orepool on January 29th 2019