Blog

RAF Wittering Families Day. 100th Year Celebrations

4th June 2014 11.00 -17.00hrs –  Note this invitation is limited to RAFA members only

An invitation to the following special event has been received by the Branch. Should any member wish to go the list of attendees is being coordinated by Derek Bury on 01562 755969 or d.v.bury39@gmail.com.

Details required by security flight RAF Wittering are:

Names and Initials of personnel attending , number of passengers , address, Vehicle, Make, colour and Reg No .

List will be closed Tuesday 3rd May.

Wittering View – Spring Edition The official magazine for RAF Wittering and the A4 Force

The official magazine for RAF Wittering and the A4 Force

100yearsThis year RAF Wittering celebrates 100 years as a flying station.  In 1916, before the formation of the Royal Air Force, the Royal Flying Corps needed a suitable site to provide air defence in the east of England against the German Zeppelin threat during World War 1.

Click here to read all about it by downloading the Spring Edition of Wittering View – The official magazine for RAF Wittering and the A4 Force.

Sir John Sutton KCB

We regret to announce the death off Air Marshal  Sir John Sutton KCB (born 9 July 1932, died November 2014, aged 82).  He retired from the RAF in 1989 as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at RAF Support Command.  Air Marshal Sutton was the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey between 1990 and 1995, following a 39-year career in the Royal Air Force flying jet fighters such as Meteors, Canberra’s and Phantoms.

We have all known Sir John as our Branch President until very recently.  He was always a real gentleman and a charming man.  We will miss him because he supported RAFA so strongly, and was instrumental in bringing the national organisation back from the brink of failure during his time as their President.

He had a great sense of humour and was always fascinating company.  He gave several talks on his service experiences to RAFA Rutland and was always an interesting speaker at our Annual Christmas dinners.

Sir John is to be cremated next Friday at Peterborough during a private family service with invited friends.

A service of thanksgiving for his life will follow in the New Year at location and time to be decided.

Air Marshal  Sir John Sutton KCB – WE WILL REMEMBER YOU – an officer and a gentleman.

Poppy Day Remembrance Concert on 18th October 2014

UPPINGHAM: Memorial Hall, Uppingham School  – Saturday 18th October, 2014, 7.30pm

The Oakham Branch of the Royal British Legion invites you to a special concert given by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force to Commemorate the start of WW1.

Proceeds are in aid of the 2014 Poppy Appeal and the Royal Air Force Music Charitable Trust.

The Poppy Band Concert is on 18 Oct with the Central Band of the RAF (we believe a first for   Rutland!) and tickets are already available through www.wegottickets.com/uppinghammusic.

Hard Copy tickets will be available later through Music and More in Oakham and Uppingham Sports and Book Shop in Uppingham.

This Concert will undoubtedly be a very special occasion, not least to Commemorate the Start of WW1 and to support the Poppy Appeal, but also to welcome the Central Band of the Royal Air Force to Rutland – a first!

We are also delighted that one of the very talented violinists from Uppingham School will be joining the Band to play music from Schindler’s List.

We do hope that RAFA members will continue to support what has become an annual event in Rutland.

We should also be delighted if members were able to circulate these details to their friends and family who might be interested in attending what promises to be a memorable evening.

Wg Cdr Richard Foster, County Manager, Leicestershire & Rutland, the Royal British Legion

Speaker Secretary Notes

July 2011

Wg Cdr Richard Foster, a former colleague of mine from the Royal British Legion, was our guest speaker at July’s meeting. Richard and I worked together for Leicestershire & Rutland, he initially as County Field Officer and then County Manager and me as The Community Fund Raiser. He spent most of his service career flying Helicopters; in fact he told me his first posting involved flying the Whirlwind, and doesn’t that take you back? Unbeknown to me for some time Richard had been a flight commander in Northern Ireland and had been responsible for air security during a family funeral we suffered, I’m sure neither he nor I would want to repeat. But nevertheless it’s a small world.

He said that he had served 35 years and 227 days in the Royal Air Force and was a life member of the RAFA Luxemburg Branch, although he does not attend very often. His first interest in the RBL was when, as a small boy, he heard stores, on his Grandad’s knee, of the hardship and devastation that servicemen returning from the first and second world wars had endured. It had been explained to him how desperate their need was and how Earl Haig, along with others, had tried to improve their lot. One way of helping was to arrange for veterans to be able to obtain a Burton’s suit enabling them to present themselves in an acceptable manner when attending an employment interview. That of course was 90 years ago and the Legion had been helping the serving and ex-service community ever since.

Throughout his service career interest in the Royal British Legion was always there, if perhaps on the backburner. When serving as our Air Attaché in Prague, the work of the Legion came to the fore again for Richard. During the Second World War many people from Czechoslovakia had served with the allies, creating their own fighter squadrons 310, 312 & 313 Sqn, as well as 311 (bomber/coastal) Sqn and 68 Sqn, night fighters, many giving their lives for the freedom we enjoy. On returning home they were met by the new communist regime who for reasons known only to themselves condemned the returning service personnel to hard labour, and in the worst cases death, for their RAF service during the war. This of course meant hardship for the families but through the Embassy diplomatic sources, the Luxemburg RAFA Branch were able to get help to these people. Richard also gave an example from his time in Czechoslovakia of one lady who had lost her brother during the war and was desperate to visit his grave. Whilst the Communists had refused to divulge the details, the new government under Vaclav Havel, released them. The family could not afford the costs of travel to Brussels to visit the grave, so Richard contacted the Royal British legion and they paid for the whole thing without any fuss.

Richard was able to show that on his patch here in the midlands £1m has been spent in support of the service and ex service community since October 2010. This money had been spent on things such as electric mobility scooters, stairlifts, riser-recliner chairs, washing machines and fridges, as well as helping ex-service personnel gain employment in civilian life. Richard explained that he spent much of his time visiting prisons, where ex service personnel were coming to the end of their sentence and needed help to readjust to society. Again the Legion is able to help. He said that the RBL did not work in isolation but with other service charities including RAFA and in Leicester the RBL HQ was shared by SSAFA Forces Help.

In answer to a question, Richard explained that Poppy Calls was a system where a trained tradesman will visit your home to do those little jobs that age does no longer allow you to do. For further information call 0800 032 0306.

The power of the Legion has been shown by its influence on the government with the Military Covenant. They also provide short and long-term care for ex-Service people and their dependants in seven care homes around the country. In fact, if you have served, or are a dependant of someone who has served in the Armed Services for only 7 days, your fist call for help and support is the Royal British Legion.

The main source of the Legion funding is from the annual Poppy Appeal, which has reached £35 million this year, enabling the RBL to spend £200,000 a day on welfare across the country..

In reply to another question, Richard was able to assure our members that Help For Heroes was not affecting the Poppy Appeal income and in many cases we were working with them to achieve our common objective, for example sharing the costs of the Personnel Recovery Centres.

Our speaker next month is a Branch member Tony Harris who is coming along to tell us something about the RAF Marine Craft Units and their Air Sea Rescue duties in the Second World War. Some time ago, light heartedly, I said that we had covered all aspects of the Royal Air Force with past speakers and I was looking in other areas. Tony pointed out that we had not heard anything about the RAF boats, so here will be your chance!

 

Royal British Legion Leicestershire and Rutland Annual Festival of Remembrance for 2011

The Royal British Legion is proud to announce its annual Festival of Remembrance for 2011 to not only remember those who have made the supreme sacrifice for their country but also those who are fighting for peace in the world today.

This year we are proud to introduce The Syd Lawrence Orchestra who have recently been voted the Best Big Band in the Land for the 11th consecutive year.

The County Chairman and Civic dignitaries will attend the Remembrance Sunday parade and wreath laying ceremony which will take place at the Victoria Park Memorial in Leicester commencing at 10.25 with the march-on.

Everyone is welcome to attend this county event. Please ensure that you are in position before the 11:00 silence.

Disabled car parking is available at the De Montfort Hall as usual.