STROUD VALLEYS BRANCH
In February 2016 Mr Percy Franklin was delighted to receive a letter from the French Embassador in London stating that the President of the Republic of France, Monsieur Francis Hollande, had authorised the award of the Le’gion d`honneur in the rank of Chevalier, in recognition of Percy’s military engagement and involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War.
Unfortunately the French Honorary Consul was not available to present this award but Col Mike Motum kindly stepped in and presented the award to Percy at a ceremony which took place at Painswick Golf Club on 16th March. The event was attended by Percy’s wife Margaret and sons and daughters, together with friends and members of the RGBW Association.
Percy joined the Glosters in 1943 before being transferred to the South Wales Borderers. In 1944 he landed on the Cherberg peninsular in Normandy with the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers. They took part in the bitter fighting around Caen and casualties were heavy for all units. In late August his Battalion reached Pont Audemer on the River Risle about 40 kilometers to the West of Rouen. While at Pont Audemer Percy suffered shrapnel wounds to his ankle and lower limbs from enemy artillery fire. After his wounds had stabilised he was returned to England by hospital ship. After a long recovery he eventually arrived at Robinswood Barracks, Gloucester. Some shrapnel remains in his leg to this day.
In June we received the sad news that Major David Hudson, former Royal Hampshire Regiment and Assistant Regimental Secretary and Regimental Association Secretary RHQ Glosters for 10 years, had passed away on 25 June 2016 aged 89 years. He had also served as President of the Stroud Valleys Branch for many years. Major Hudson was commissioned into the Royal Hampshire Regiment in April 1946, serving with 2/4 Bn in Greece and then Palestine with 1 Bn. He had a long and distinguished service serving in East Africa, Malaya, B.A.O.R. and Northern Ireland. Members will be interested to know that he also studied Serbo-Croat and Russian to aid his various Intelligence appointments. He retired from military service on 29 December 1981. His home was in Painswick until his death in 2016. A service of Thanksgiving and Celebration was held at St. Mary’s Church, Painswick. He was a very well-liked and respected man in the Painswick community and he leaves two daughters, Clare and Charlotte.
In November members attended the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey and our Chairman Morris Vizor, Secretary Scott McBryde, Carol Vizor and Paul Whitcher marched with the RGBW contingent at The National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph, Whitehall. Members also attended local Services of Remembrance in the Stroud area. The Branch is also very grateful that the Stroud Army Cadet Force kindly laid a wreath on our behalf at the Remembrance Day service in Stroud.
The year finished with a very enjoyable Christmas lunch at the beginning of December. Rita Owens had travelled down from Nottingham and Richard Green drove down from Colchester. Pictures are on the Branch webpage.
Remembrance Day 2014
'Pictures taken at The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey Thursday 6 November 2014
Carl Vizor and Scott McBryde Field of Remembrance 6 Nov 14
Just a few pictures from our Christmas lunch. The Branch presented Graham Wicks, our ex Chairman, with a glass beer tankard engraved with the Back Badge as a gift of appreciation for all his hard work as Chairman of the Stroud Valleys Branch
Photos from 2015
The Cenotaph 2015
Pictures taken from opposite Horse Guards Parade Ground on Sunday 8 November 2015.
Three members from the Stroud Branch marched, namely Morris Vizor (Chairman), Carl Vizor and Scott McBryde.
Percy Franklin is awarded The Chevalier de la Legion d`Honneur
Stroud Branch Member Mr Percy Franklin aged 91yrs, was presented with the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur by Lt Col MJR Motum DL, County Secretary, The Rifles, at Painswick Golf Club on Wednesday 16th March 2106. It was a very happy occasion for Percy, surrounded by family, friends and Branch members.
Percy was a private in the Gloucestershire Regiment, attached to the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers on D-Day. On June 9 1944 he disembarked and advanced through Caen, Falaise Gap and Nantes as a "hedgerow fighter". While manning a machine gun position at Pont Audemer and 88mm German shell exploded nearby blowing him across the road. His life was saved by a tree stump. He suffered serious facial and leg injuries and was taken to hospital in Bayeux on August 25, eventually being returned to Southampton on a Polish Hospital Ship.
Field of Remembrance 2016
On Thursday 10th November 2016 Stroud branch members Scott McBryde and Paul Whitcher (both ex Glosters) attended the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in support of the RGBW Association. HRH Duke of Edinburgh was in good spirits and HRH Prince Harry darted from side to side talking to as many groups as possible. A very worthwhile event to attend
'The Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph Parade at Horse Guards, Sunday 13 November 2016'
Stroud branch members Morris and Carl Vizor, Scott McBryde and Paul Whitcher attended the Royal British Legion Remembrance Parade at Horse Guards on Sunday 13 November. 10,000 veterans were on parade. This year the RGBW contingent formed part of Column A which was at the front of the Parade. Jenny and Carol accompanied husbands Scott and Paul to the Parade and stood at Horse Guards Road watching all the diplomatic cars arrive at the rear of Downing Street. Boris Johnson walked down Horse Guards Road with his wife (he rode his bicycle last year). HRH Prince Charles took the Salute at the March Past.
Branch Christmas Lunch 2016
Stroud Branch met up at The Clothiers Arms Stroud for Christmas Lunch on Tuesday 6th December. Lovely meal and fantastic staff. Percy wore his Legion d'honneur with pride and enjoyed the meal. Margaret was unfortunately not well and missed the meal. Richard drove over from Colchester trying not to break speed limits and Rita drove down from Nottingham the day before. Val had undergone an eye operation the week before but was determined to make it. A small branch but tight knit.
Woodchester Wayside Cross Service of Re Dedication Saturday 10 June 2017
Stroud Branch members, along with members from The Forest of Dean and Somerset Branches attended a Service of Re Dedication of the World War I wooden Wayside Cross at Woodchester, a village south of Stroud, on Saturday 10 June 2017. The Princess Royal attended, along with the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire.
The Cross is the only memorial commenced and completed during WWI. It was originally dedicated on 3rd June 1917 and is situated below the now closed Dominican Priory situated just off the Bath Road outside Nailsworth. Scott McBryde carried the Stroud Branch Standard.
Remembrance Day 2017
Stroud branch members Scott McBryde and Paul Whitcher joined fellow members of the Rifles and RGBW Association in the March Past the Cenotaph in Whitehall on Sunday 12 November 2017. It was a cold windy morning but luckily the weather stayed dry. HRH Prince Edward took the Salute at the rear of Horse Guards as all the Veterans marched around from the Cenotaph
Stroud Remembrance Parade
Stroud Branch members Morris Vizor (Chairman), Scott McBryde (Standard Bearer), Carl Vizor and Graham Wicks attended the Service of Remembrance at Stroud Subscription Rooms at 11am on Saturday 11 November 2017. It was well attended and the local Police stopped the traffic around the forecourt of Stroud Subscription Rooms for the 2 Minute Silence
The Field of Remembrance 2017
Stroud Branch members Scott McBryde and Paul Whitcher attended The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on Thursday 9 November 2017 together with other members of the Rifles and RGBW Association. It was, as always, a good occasion and HRH Prince Harry stayed for a few minutes in front of our plot.