Remember the Fallen!

editorial image

Remembrance weekend is not far away and timings will be available from the Arbroath branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland.

As part of its initiative to involve the younger generation the branch has, over the last few years, instigated a Poppy Poster competition amongst all the primary schools in Arbroath. This has proved to be very popular and has become an important part of the Remembrance programme.

An outline of the programme of events is as follows: November 1 - Branch committee judge the Poppy Poster competition; November 8 - Veterans’ Night. Tickets are available at the bar; November 10 - Remembrance Sunday.:11 a.m., informal wreath laying service at the Western Cemetery War Graves: Remembrance Sunday Service, 2 p.m. at the High Common Cenotaph: November 11 - Remembrance Day: 11 a.m. branch tribute at the High Common Cenotaph.

Remembrance Day is a time when we can remember all those servicemen and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty since the First World War. Even now, remains of the fallen are being found on the battlefields of the ‘Great War’.

In 1993, 75 years after he fell, the remains of a son of Angus, Sergeant David Alexander Kitto, who was serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps, were found by two French farmers in a field.

On November 30, 1917, David Kitto died at the Battle of Cambrai during a strong German counter attack. This battle was unique in that it was the first time that tanks were used by the British Army and the lessons learnt paved the way for future battles and ultimately, victory.

However, the battle took its toll and there were 80,000 German and 42,00 British and Commonwealth casualties, of which 20,000 of the Allied troops were fatal. David Kitto was given a full military funeral service at the Terlinethun British Cemetery on June 11, 1993.

That is one of the reasons why Remembrance Day is so important, not only for the generation who can reflect and remember those they have known but for the younger generation to have an understanding of the sacrifice made by the rows of names on the Cenotaph. We will remember them.

If no-one has mentioned it yet, there are only 69 days to Christmas!

For the Arbroath branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland that is good news as the bookings for the local facilities are coming in fast and furious.

The ever popular pensioners’ Christmas tea and dance has already been booked and to cope with the numbers it will be in two sittings, on December 4 and 11. This event is always well attended so book early to guarantee getting tickets.

Now is also the time of year for renewing club membership but everyone will be pleased to know that following the hefty increase last year, which was imposed by head office in Edinburgh, the branch will not be putting the fees up this year.

Fees are: full membership £14; full OAP £13; family £15; family OAP £14; associate £15; and associate OAP £ 14.

A bone of contention within the club and many others around the country is that one third of the subscriptions go to the area offices, which many believe is an anachronism that is not necessary today, especially with the reduced membership and club numbers.

However, in this current climate of austerity it is worthwhile reflecting on what membership gives you. That includes function facilities that are second to none, a convivial atmosphere in the bars, bar prices that are extremely competitive and bar staff who are always friendly and welcoming. The fees are a small price to pay for such a popular club and Arbroath is one of the cheapest Legion clubs in the country.

Branch secretary Keith Baldry will be available in the club to collect the fees for all who wish to renew their membership and indeed anyone wishing to join.

Over the last few months the club has been busy entertaining the ardent bingo players every Sunday afternoon. They have averaged 100 to 120 each Sunday and apart from the fun of taking part, the big attraction has been the Snowball, which went recently at £469 to a Red Lichtie.

Earlier on in the summer it was standing at over £1,000!

On the September 28 the main hall was packed for a coffee morning in aid of Erskine Hospital, organised by Bill and Edith Dear, Leona Stewart and Iris Baldry. The event was extremely successful and raised £1,201.

Once again the Women’s Section has been busy and Jenny Whitaker and Anne Frith won the Area Rosebowl Trophy with a beautifully knitted baby jacket and blanket. This is the first time the Women’s Section has won the competition for the club since 1989.

Paddy Quinlan, chairman.