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and had a promising future ahead of him. Unfortunately, he died in a traffic accident. The Commanding Officer and Regimental Sergeant Major of the 4th Battalion extended their thanks for our support and our deepest condolences were extended to the family on the sad loss of their son.


We meet at the TA Centre, Coltman House, Burton on Trent.


obituary can be seen elsewhere in the journal and on the Mercian Volunteers Website. The chairman and members were at the Poppy Appeal launch in Kidderminster with the Branch Standard and paraded with the other Ex-Service organisations at the Remembrance Sunday Service held at St Mary’s Church, Kidderminster. The Branch is at present organising parcels for the Kidderminster members of the 4 MERCIAN Company in Afghanistan. Local firms have been contacted for support with some success. This is a continuing project.


Pte Luke Cole MC with Lt Col Bridges and the Burton Standard Bearer


Kidderminster


The Branch continues to grow under the chairmanship of Graham Bird supported by a very active membership. Spurred on by the success of the car boot sale held in the Swan car park in Kidderminster on Sunday 31 August, a motley crew assembled outside the TA Centre at Kidderminster for the Branch Sponsored Walk organised by Colin Caswell along the Mercian Way. We did the shorter route and left the 97 miles to Chester for another time! We managed to reach Button Oak in time for a lunch-time pint, having been fed by the CSgt en route before returning to the TA Centre. Over £700 was raised by the walk for Branch funds which was a fantastic achievement. There are rumours that we will attempt the Worcestershire Way next year, a fitting tribute to the fact that this long distance route was originally devised by B Company members back in the 1970s. The Branch Standard has now been purchased and presented to the Members. The event was recorded for posterity with a group photograph outside The Shrubbery, our home for so many years. Brian Turvey and others had been receiving instruction on the duties of the Standard bearer from various sources including the indomitable Alan Fish!


The Branch held a very successful karaoke evening compèred by Ted and Christine Rowley. The Shrubbery was packed with a very enthusiastic audience, with many dancing well into the night. No doubt they felt the effects the next morning! It was an excellent evening’s entertainment enhanced by a very good buffet and an excellent raffle with prizes galore. The evening was supported by members from the Rugeley, Wolverhampton, Walsall Branches and the local Royal British Legion. Their support was greatly appreciated. Members of the Branch attended the funeral of Frank Bates, a long- serving member of the Company whose


The Mercian Eagle


On 16 May 2009, members of The Association marched through Kidderminster with the 4th Battalion when they exercised The Freedom of the Town. The weather did not deter the attendance or the success of the day in any way, although we all got soaked at the very end! Thank you to everyone who attended. Every Branch was represented amongst the fifty on parade including five standards. It was a very proud moment to march alongside our successors in such good numbers.


Kidderminster Branch meets at 1100 hrs on the first Sunday of the month at The Shrubbery TA Centre, Birmingham Road, Kidderminster, at the same time and place as the Kidderminster Branch of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Forester Regiment Association.


Nottingham


Nottingham’s first meeting, organised by Sgt Philip Squires, was held at the Beechdale Inn, Beechdale Road, Nottingham in June. It took considerable and effort contacting ex-members but, on the night, twenty five ex-D Company members arrived, many with photographs which led to “do you remember this?” This meeting set the scene for the formation of a Branch of the Association. The next meeting was held on 30 August in the TA Centre at Triumph Road, Nottingham. This was the home of D Company 1st Battalion The Mercian Volunteers. Philip had collected more members. Consequently, it was a larger gathering of the clan, some with their wives and partners, making it a family occasion. It was good to see so many of the original Company. Capt Valance travelled up from the Home Counties to attend. Col Nigel Cullen, David Prior, Maj Chell, WO2 Eddie Evans, WO2 Keith Templeman, WO2 Trevor Kemp, CSgt Richard Barrass, Sgt Alan Egley, Sgt Danny Shooter, Cpl Gill Ferron and Cpl Ray Henshaw were among the members there. Apologies were received from Cpl Ian Mac who now lives in Cyprus. The result was worth all the hard work and perseverance by Phil Squires. Well done and thanks.


Kidderminster Branch Sponsored Walk


The Branch held its second meeting at Triumph Road TA Centre on Saturday evening 29 November by kind permission of OC the Signals Squadron. Again, there was a very good attendance. The meeting was chaired by Brig Wilkinson, the first Company Commander of D Company. Brig Wilkinson was voted in as the President of the Branch, Brig Bev Smalley as Chairman and Phil Squires as Secretary. Philip had already enrolled the support of the City of Nottingham who very kindly gave the Branch a donation towards the purchase of their standard. The Branch and the Association are extremely grateful for this very generous gesture. At a future date, there will be an official handover of the Standard by the City Council. The meeting was arranged by Phil Squires and his wife, Sandra, who worked extremely hard to get the Branch off the ground. Phil has recently been in hospital for an operation on his foot but, thankfully, he is on the way to recovery. A special word of thanks goes to the OC of the Signals Squadron and SSgt Paul Ingram for the use of the Sergeants’ Mess at Triumph Road.


Kidderminster Branch Standard outside the old Drill Hall, The Shrubbery


Nottingham Branch meets at the TA Centre, Triumph Road, Nottingham


Rugeley


MVRA marching through Kidderminster, 16 May 2009


The third anniversary saw the Branch as busy as ever. Tom McComski and Reg Bailey, ex-Worcestershire Regiment, took part in the Kidderminster Freedom Parade in Kidderminster for 2 MERCIAN. Both had an excellent time. The next day was the


October 2009 151


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