STROUD VALLEYS BRANCH
In February 2016 Mr Percy Franklin was delighted to receive a letter from the French Embassador in London stating that the President of the Republic of France, Monsieur Francis Hollande, had authorised the award of the Le’gion d`honneur in the rank of Chevalier, in recognition of Percy’s military engagement and involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War.
Unfortunately the French Honorary Consul was not available to present this award but Col Mike Motum kindly stepped in and presented the award to Percy at a ceremony which took place at Painswick Golf Club on 16th March. The event was attended by Percy’s wife Margaret and sons and daughters, together with friends and members of the RGBW Association.
Percy joined the Glosters in 1943 before being transferred to the South Wales Borderers. In 1944 he landed on the Cherberg peninsular in Normandy with the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers. They took part in the bitter fighting around Caen and casualties were heavy for all units. In late August his Battalion reached Pont Audemer on the River Risle about 40 kilometers to the West of Rouen. While at Pont Audemer Percy suffered shrapnel wounds to his ankle and lower limbs from enemy artillery fire. After his wounds had stabilised he was returned to England by hospital ship. After a long recovery he eventually arrived at Robinswood Barracks, Gloucester. Some shrapnel remains in his leg to this day.
In June we received the sad news that Major David Hudson, former Royal Hampshire Regiment and Assistant Regimental Secretary and Regimental Association Secretary RHQ Glosters for 10 years, had passed away on 25 June 2016 aged 89 years. He had also served as President of the Stroud Valleys Branch for many years. Major Hudson was commissioned into the Royal Hampshire Regiment in April 1946, serving with 2/4 Bn in Greece and then Palestine with 1 Bn. He had a long and distinguished service serving in East Africa, Malaya, B.A.O.R. and Northern Ireland. Members will be interested to know that he also studied Serbo-Croat and Russian to aid his various Intelligence appointments. He retired from military service on 29 December 1981. His home was in Painswick until his death in 2016. A service of Thanksgiving and Celebration was held at St. Mary’s Church, Painswick. He was a very well-liked and respected man in the Painswick community and he leaves two daughters, Clare and Charlotte.
In November members attended the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey and our Chairman Morris Vizor, Secretary Scott McBryde, Carol Vizor and Paul Whitcher marched with the RGBW contingent at The National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph, Whitehall. Members also attended local Services of Remembrance in the Stroud area. The Branch is also very grateful that the Stroud Army Cadet Force kindly laid a wreath on our behalf at the Remembrance Day service in Stroud.
The year finished with a very enjoyable Christmas lunch at the beginning of December. Rita Owens had travelled down from Nottingham and Richard Green drove down from Colchester. Pictures are on the Branch webpage.