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 Post subject: Time to join the Legion
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 20:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:28 am
Posts: 883
Location: Pontefract
Real Name: Barry Hampton
Group: Royal British Legion
As every year passes, our veterans grow fewer and fewer and British Legion membership declines. We all agree with the aims of the Legion and many of us re-enactors already volunteer for Poppy Collecting duties, so why not take that extra step and become a member of the Legion. Every Branch needs new younger blood to replace those who have sadly departed this life, You don't have to be ex-forces, just want to get involved. I made the step in 2007 and was welcomed with open arms. They honoured me by making me their Standard Bearer and now Chairman. My own way of repaying what they have given to us. So come on, make that same step and make sure the Legion survives.

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and then she said "forget the 6 feet and concentrate on the 7 inches!"-attributed to Mae West


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 21:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 20:28 pm
Posts: 1561
Location: Swansea Uni/London
Real Name: Swipey
Group: 53rd Welsh
Personally the Legion is doing well, its the Divisional and Battalion Associations which are collapsing - leaving all their records and material to (often enough sadly) waft away into the ether.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 22:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 14:49 pm
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Location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Real Name: Adrian Hollis
Group: AFRA, portray- RA AA gunner, 9th AF pilot
I like to support my local branch of the RBL when I can. I helped out with a recent 40's dance they organised, and also went poppy collecting.

However, I do agree with Swiper in that there are also other, smaller organisations that seem to be forgotten. For example, how many people know about the Java Fepow club? I was a member (forgot to renew my membership! Must do that soon!). As I have said on here, my great uncle was a PoW captured on Java. The club supports Far East prisoners of war no matter where they were captured. But as the guys sadly 'move on' there isn't many left.

Any organisation that helps recognise, support and help veterans and their families are a great thing.

I will still continue to support the RBL.

_________________
Portraying my great uncles....

Lance Bombardier Bryce R. Hollis 89 Bty, 35th LAA RA. Captured by Japanese on Java 8/3/42

1st Lt Delmore (Del) Meier, 314th TS, 31s TG, 9th USAAF. Flying C-47's from RAF Grove


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 22:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 20:28 pm
Posts: 1561
Location: Swansea Uni/London
Real Name: Swipey
Group: 53rd Welsh
Nearly 5 years ago I was reliably told that the NVA was looking at taking on a new generation of young blood, effectively passing on the baton. This would have seen it become something far more akin to the Western Front Association but... nothing, most NVA groups have folded and other groups falling by the wayside.

A real travesty and I am aware some have tried to prevent this it feels that anyone wishing to do so would need to start from scratch all over...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 23:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 14:49 pm
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Location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Real Name: Adrian Hollis
Group: AFRA, portray- RA AA gunner, 9th AF pilot
The other thing is, I do think the RBL need to do more in the way of 'attracting' the younger generation anyway... And it's not just me that thinks this. A few members of the RBL have actually said to me themselves that it comes across (or has done) as an 'Old Farts Club' (their words, not mine!). They also agreed that the RBL doesn't seem to do enough as to 'promote' exactly how much work they actually do.

For instance, I didn't realise until recently that the RBL are actually the ones who run the Help for Heroes centres.

_________________
Portraying my great uncles....

Lance Bombardier Bryce R. Hollis 89 Bty, 35th LAA RA. Captured by Japanese on Java 8/3/42

1st Lt Delmore (Del) Meier, 314th TS, 31s TG, 9th USAAF. Flying C-47's from RAF Grove


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:06 am 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 9:05 am
Posts: 150
Real Name: Graeham
Group: Isle of Man Home Guard Re-enactment Society
If you want to join a less formal branch of the Legion and you are into motor bikes join the riders branch. http://www.rblr.co.uk/content/

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Blessed be the Lord my God who teaches my hands for battle and my fingers to fight.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 20:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:28 am
Posts: 883
Location: Pontefract
Real Name: Barry Hampton
Group: Royal British Legion
I totally agree. My aim as Chairman of our Branch is to try and change perceptions of what people think the Legion is about. Help for Heroes have marketed themselves brilliantly and come across as a younger more dynamic organisation. Its just a shame that their charity contribution doesnt match the hype (personal opinion there, not the Legions). We do such a magnificent job in the Poppy Appeal, but sell ourselves short. This is why we need the younger guys to come in and push us into the 21st century (my opinion again). All volunteer help in the poppy Appeal is greatly appreciated, but you have to be a member to push for changes. We dont want the Legion to slide into disbandment due to lack of members, like many other Veterans organisations have. This is a real possibility over the next 10 - 20 years.

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and then she said "forget the 6 feet and concentrate on the 7 inches!"-attributed to Mae West


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 21:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 14:49 pm
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Location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Real Name: Adrian Hollis
Group: AFRA, portray- RA AA gunner, 9th AF pilot
I was a bit put out as during the organising of the dance, i designed two different types of advertising posters. Colourful, straight to the point, vintage style, put mainly to attract a wider audience and grab their attention...

The designs were put to one side, as they wanted to use the ones they had used 4 years previous... Plain, with just writing and one clip art picture of someone playing a trumpet...

Again i went off with my head in my hands as it seemed they didn't want in put from a 24 year old, who knew what younger people would look for...

_________________
Portraying my great uncles....

Lance Bombardier Bryce R. Hollis 89 Bty, 35th LAA RA. Captured by Japanese on Java 8/3/42

1st Lt Delmore (Del) Meier, 314th TS, 31s TG, 9th USAAF. Flying C-47's from RAF Grove


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 0:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 19:19 pm
Posts: 9785
Location: Near Guildford,Surrey
Real Name: Andy Wood
Group: 16PFA / AFRA
Perhaps you should come and join our branch, there are only two of us under 50 on the committee, the rest of the gang are 70+, our chairman bless him would love someone your age to be on board with new ideas and willing to help do some of the work! he's keen for me to take a more active role with taking over as secretary or vice chairman but I simply don't have sufficient spare time or any relevant experience in running something as important as the branch which given that most younger folks lead busier lives these days doesn't bode well for the future of local branches as the old and bold become unable to carry on.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:28 am
Posts: 883
Location: Pontefract
Real Name: Barry Hampton
Group: Royal British Legion
I fully appreciate the problems. We would welcome young members- I want to see us pushing more with social media. I'm not quite one of the "old farts" but getting there! At mid 50s I'm one of the young 'uns.My Vice Chair is is in her 80s, our Secretary in his 70s and the vast majority of members over 70 (some in the 90s). With 99 members on the books, less than half come to meetings and half that for actively involved members. Its a great bunch of people, but Its the same old suspects for anything that needs doing. We have contact with all the Cadet units. We trained Standard Bearers with them. We do talks at schools and meet with other community groups, but still we can't attract younger members. Hence I have turned to the Living Historians and Re-enactors, who have a passion for the past and support the Legions aims. It will always be a struggle to change the "Old Guard" mind set, but you will be the "Old Guard" some day when a 24 year old will be trying to put their ideas to you and going away with their head in their hands. Persevere !!!! When it comes to your AGM in October, get someone to nominate you for one of the posts.
I suggested we run up a Jolly Roger flag as our second Standard as we (me) try to pirate everyone and anything from other Branches!

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and then she said "forget the 6 feet and concentrate on the 7 inches!"-attributed to Mae West


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:27 am 
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 10:35 am
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Real Name: boris bagbogbigban
Way pubs closing in dagenham. Soon its only the working mens (oxymoron?) or legion to get a cheap pint...

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Like a tree in a deserted forest.


If you have the last word and no one heard it - Did it happen? https://youtu.be/mQZmCJUSC6g


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 15:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 19:26 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Worcester
Real Name: Jim Flynn
Group: AFRA
I hate to see such an important thread languish! My own story with the legion goes back to when I was an Army Cadet and we would parade every year for Remembrance Sunday with the legion. Later as a soldier in Germany I joined the local branch in Herford as it was across the road from my block and was handy for a few beers. Fast forward 9 years to 2007 and I was at the NEC Motorbike Show having just came back from a tour in Iraq. Wandering round the halls I came across a stand for the RBL Riders Branch and I signed up on the spot! I have been with the Riders ever since and took on the County Rep role for Worcestershire in September 2012, just as my time in the army was coming to a close. Now I am also a member of the county branch and sit on two county committees giving them a youthful (mid forties) viewpoint.

My interest in re-enactment is directly linked to my efforts to raise money and recruit members for the legion. Last year was my debut in my battle dress at Wartime In The Vale. This year I shall be there again, the 40's Vintage Weekend in Evesham and the Wartime In The Cotswolds event raising money for the Poppy Appeal. Help For Heroes is approaching the end of it's useful life, unless of course it changes its entire reason for being from projects to welfare. The legion needs to retain some of the impetus and public awareness that H4H created in order to provide lifetime welfare support to the many hundreds of personnel who have came home injured both physically and mentally.

I wonder if people realise that special interest groups, such as re-enactors, are ideal to become individual branches? The Riders Branch is one such special interest group but there is also a Young Professionals Branch in London, the National Memorial Arboretum Branch and the Y Services (Garats HaY) Branch (Signals Intelligence). There is currently a cycling branch on the cards as well. Like minded individuals with a shared interest and a desire to support the Poppy Appeal is all it takes!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 19:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 14:49 pm
Posts: 1157
Location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Real Name: Adrian Hollis
Group: AFRA, portray- RA AA gunner, 9th AF pilot
Jim,

I think you have a good idea there. Educational, yet raising funds...

_________________
Portraying my great uncles....

Lance Bombardier Bryce R. Hollis 89 Bty, 35th LAA RA. Captured by Japanese on Java 8/3/42

1st Lt Delmore (Del) Meier, 314th TS, 31s TG, 9th USAAF. Flying C-47's from RAF Grove


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 0:43 am
Posts: 2896
Great ideas Barry - and things I would like to help with our local Legion branch.

I joined about 4 years ago and I appear to be the youngest member at 40, with the next youngest probably at least 10 years older than me!

Its an uphill struggle and the thing I have found is a lot of the local regulars who turn out, our meetings now only being bi-monthly - like to keep things the same as they've always been.

Also how come some retired people are so busy ;) Several are on multiple local groups and committees but that's fair enough. Trouble is they are then too busy! Also the smallest silly things become the biggest issues. I dunno the exact kerfuffle that happened but the poppy collector for years stood down in 2012 over some petty issue to do with a minuscule amount, later vindicated. [When he hands the sealed cans in how can anyone say there is cash missing?] Anyway, that's by the by. The branch Sec took over in 2013, not really realizing how much work is involved. I'm doing it this year since I thought I better show willing and look more active.

Good luck and if anyone wants to come and liven up our meeting[s] in Nidderdale feel free!

Regards
Matt


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