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between several of them and that was Worcester. Some had been trained at Norton Barracks during the war before postings and some had been transferred into the Regiment through various reasons during the war. Some years later, when Whittington Barracks at Lichfield was used for training National Servicemen for The Mercian Brigade, a larger area of recruitment was formed and men were joining from the Potteries and the Black Country. A number of these men later joined the Branch - particularly those who had served with the Regiment in Malaya. It was at this time that the Branch was re-titled Rugeley and District Branch. A point of interest is that when members first approached the Association about joining, they found that an Amalgamation had taken place with The Sherwood Foresters and that even more people were eligible to join.


Possibly the most significant things attributed to the Branch are the various memorials dedicated to the men of The Worcestershire Regiment who lost their lives whilst serving with the regiment in the Malayan Emergency. One is in Worcester Cathedral, a second in St George’s Garrison Church, Whittington Barracks, and there is a memorial bench at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire. Many thousands of pounds were raised by the members of the Branch in tribute to those men who gave their lives while serving their country. Rugeley in Staffordshire is a very military-minded place. It has in its local area FOUR Associations whose antecedents are now linked to The Mercian Regiment. To all Battalions of the Regiment, we wish you well wherever you are serving.


3 WFR Branch


On 17 October, a display tent was erected in the churchyard of St Laurence’s Church Long Eaton, Derbyshire by the 3 WFR Branch members at the launch of the Foresters Day and Launch of the Poppy Appeal in Long Eaton organised by RBL Long Eaton and the Long Eaton WFRA Branch. The day went extremely well with many people visiting the tent; the weather could not have been better and, in the evening, a concert performed by Long Eaton Silver Junior Prize Band was held place in the church. The Standards of Long Eaton and 3 WFRA Branches were also paraded.


The Branch Annual Dinner


The Staffordshire Regiment Association (SRA)


West Bromwich


Last year got off to a very bad start for the Branch with the loss in the first six months of three of our most valued members. First, in January, Alex Davidson; although Alex was not a Stafford (he served with the Royal Artillery), he had been a member of the Branch for many years. In March, Alan Rackham, South Staffords and a Cyprus Veteran, passed away and, finally, in May, we lost Arthur Mills, South Staffords, Airborne World War II Veteran. Although we are only a small Branch of the Association, the loss of three of our long-serving members was very sad. All three were very active and they always gave their full support at not only Branch meetings but at various functions which were organised over the years.


In May, the Branch held a social evening with a guest artist, Gary Davies, supplying the music, followed by a buffet and raffle: once again, a very good night thoroughly enjoyed by members and guests. This was followed in October by our annual dinner at the Dovecote


Restaurant; although a very informal occasion, it was a very enjoyable evening, again very well organised by Roland Roberts and Stan Barklam with Pat and Hilery doing the honours with the raffle for the Branch funds and many thanks to members for supplying all the prizes (without any arm twisting this time).


Our Remembrance Service on 11 November at St James’ Church, Hill Top, was well supported by members and ex-service personnel from the area. All that remains to be said now is that the Branch has come to terms with the sad loss of our three members at the beginning of the year and we hope that next year will be a little kinder to us. Finally, I would like to say many thanks to our two Standard Bearers, John Lamsdale and Roland Roberts, for doing the honours over the past twelve months and to all branch officers and members for turning out in all weathers to keep the Branch alive.


The Mercian Eagle


October 2009 149


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