Monday, 02 August 2021

Henley and Peppard Royal British Legion

AT their drill hall on Friday Street the Henley Detachment of the Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force

AT their drill hall on Friday Street the Henley Detachment of the Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force presented the Henley and Peppard branch of the Royal British Legion with £305 for the Poppy Appeal.

This total had been raised through sponsorship of a 10-mile walk around Harwell in May.

The Henley Detachment, or Nivelle Company, Oxfordshire Batallion (The Rifles) ACF, to give them their full title, is a vibrant organisation that meets every Wednesday at 7pm.

Seven cadets aged between 12 and 17 and three adults from the Henley Detachment, together with cadets from other Oxfordshire Detachments, took part in the walk.

The Detachment’s Commander, Second Lieutenant Tom Fearn, is an old hand at the annual event, having taken part every year, but for many of the cadets it was the furthest they had ever walked.

They participated in uniform with back packs. The hilly terrain along the Ridgeway and a very hot day added to the challenge.

Branch chairman John Green gratefully accepted the generous donation to the Poppy Appeal on behalf of the branch and thanked everyone who had taken part and sponsored. He was delighted that this furthered the connection between the branch and the cadets as part of an ongoing affiliation.

In adding his own thanks, Alex Manning, the branch’s cadet liaison officer, reminded the cadets that the legion was not just for veterans, but for the whole armed forces family and its supporters, so they too were eligible to join.

On Monday, in Kempster Hall at the Christ Church Centre on Reading Road, Alex, a military historian and experienced battlefield guide, gave an illustrated talk before lunch about the Battle of the Somme. Shirley Lees, Henley’s Poppy Appeal organiser, added her thanks on behalf of the appeal, which provides a wide range of help to existing servicemen and women, veterans and their dependants, from rehabilitating the injured, advising a widow over an inquest to providing specialist dementia nurses and care homes for the veterans.

Meanwhile, at the age of 81, John Green, together with branch secretary Stan Ainsley, who is a little younger, are taking part in the Nijmegen march in the Netherlands, starting on Tuesday and ending today (Friday).

This is the largest walking event in the world with 50,000 participants. Over four consecutive days, John and Stan plan to walk an incredible 200km (125 miles) raising money for the Poppy Appeal.

To donate, visit March or, email or call him on 07935 755905 or John on (01491) 638720.

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