The Rifles & RGBW Regimental Association

Supporting veterans from Gloucestershire's, Berkshire's and Wiltshire's infantry regiments

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Jan 28

Forest of Dean Christmas Lunch 2017

The Forest of Dean Branch Christmas Lunch 2017

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Jan 3

The Stroud Branch Xmas Lunch 2017

The Stoud Branch Christmas Lunch 2017

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Nov 12

Stroud Archive News

The Newsletter


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.

 Our Members


Remembrance Day 2014 

'Pictures taken at The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey Thursday 6 November 2014

Carl Vizor and Scott McBryde Field of Remembrance 6 Nov 14

Christmas Lunch 

Just a few pictures from our Christmas lunch. The Branch presented Graham Wicks, our ex Chairman, with a glass beer tankard engraved with the Back Badge as a gift of appreciation for all his hard work as Chairman of the Stroud Valleys Branch



 Photos from 2015

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The Cenotaph 2015 

Pictures taken from opposite Horse Guards Parade Ground on Sunday 8 November 2015.
Three members from the Stroud Branch marched, namely Morris Vizor (Chairman), Carl Vizor and Scott McBryde.



Percy Franklin is awarded The Chevalier de la Legion d`Honneur

 Stroud Branch Member Mr Percy Franklin aged 91yrs, was presented with the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur by Lt Col MJR Motum DL, County Secretary, The Rifles, at Painswick Golf Club on Wednesday 16th March 2106. It was a very happy occasion for Percy, surrounded by family, friends and Branch members.

Percy was a private in the Gloucestershire Regiment, attached to the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers on D-Day. On June 9 1944 he disembarked and advanced through Caen, Falaise Gap and Nantes as a "hedgerow fighter". While manning a machine gun position at Pont Audemer and 88mm German shell exploded nearby blowing him across the road. His life was saved by a tree stump. He suffered serious facial and leg injuries and was taken to hospital in Bayeux on August 25, eventually being returned to Southampton on a Polish Hospital Ship.



 Field of Remembrance 2016

On Thursday 10th November 2016 Stroud branch members Scott McBryde and Paul Whitcher (both ex Glosters) attended the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in support of the RGBW Association. HRH Duke of Edinburgh was in good spirits and HRH Prince Harry darted from side to side talking to as many groups as possible. A very worthwhile event to attend



 'The Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph Parade at Horse Guards, Sunday 13 November 2016'

Stroud branch members Morris and Carl Vizor, Scott McBryde and Paul Whitcher attended the Royal British Legion Remembrance Parade at Horse Guards on Sunday 13 November. 10,000 veterans were on parade. This year the RGBW contingent formed part of Column A which was at the front of the Parade. Jenny and Carol accompanied husbands Scott and Paul to the Parade and stood at Horse Guards Road watching all the diplomatic cars arrive at the rear of Downing Street. Boris Johnson walked down Horse Guards Road with his wife (he rode his bicycle last year). HRH Prince Charles took the Salute at the March Past.


 Branch Christmas Lunch 2016

Stroud Branch met up at The Clothiers Arms Stroud for Christmas Lunch on Tuesday 6th December. Lovely meal and fantastic staff. Percy wore his Legion d'honneur with pride and enjoyed the meal. Margaret was unfortunately not well and missed the meal. Richard drove over from Colchester trying not to break speed limits and Rita drove down from Nottingham the day before. Val had undergone an eye operation the week before but was determined to make it. A small branch but tight knit.



 Woodchester Wayside Cross Service of Re Dedication Saturday 10 June 2017

Stroud Branch members, along with members from The Forest of Dean and Somerset Branches attended a Service of Re Dedication of the World War I wooden Wayside Cross at Woodchester, a village south of Stroud, on Saturday 10 June 2017. The Princess Royal attended, along with the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire.
The Cross is the only memorial commenced and completed during WWI. It was originally dedicated on 3rd June 1917 and is situated below the now closed Dominican Priory situated just off the Bath Road outside Nailsworth. Scott McBryde carried the Stroud Branch Standard.

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Remembrance Day 2017


Stroud branch members Scott McBryde and Paul Whitcher joined fellow members of the Rifles and RGBW Association in the March Past the Cenotaph in Whitehall on Sunday 12 November 2017. It was a cold windy morning but luckily the weather stayed dry. HRH Prince Edward took the Salute at the rear of Horse Guards as all the Veterans marched around from the Cenotaph


 Stroud Remembrance Parade

Stroud Branch members Morris Vizor (Chairman), Scott McBryde (Standard Bearer), Carl Vizor and Graham Wicks attended the Service of Remembrance at Stroud Subscription Rooms at 11am on Saturday 11 November 2017. It was well attended and the local Police stopped the traffic around the forecourt of Stroud Subscription Rooms for the 2 Minute Silence



 The Field of Remembrance 2017

Stroud Branch members Scott McBryde and Paul Whitcher attended The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on Thursday 9 November 2017 together with other members of the Rifles and RGBW Association.  It was, as always, a good occasion and HRH Prince Harry stayed for a few minutes in front of our plot.



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Nov 1

FoD Archived News

News from the Branch


The Branch continues to meet on the last Tuesday of each month (except December) at the Orepool Pub and Inn. This change of meeting venue was initiated in July 2012. A sit down lunch, with a choice of four main courses and desserts are available, (usually varied) each month .The meals are reasonably priced, of ample proportions and served in pleasant surroundings. The meetings are always well attended, with  upwards of twenty Association Members and Guests being typical; including a number of our Old Comrades and Guests from the Stroud Branch.

Members of other Branches and former or serving Soldiers with Regimental connections are always welcome to join us at this friendly facility, situated in an appealing area of The Forest of Dean. Meals provided at the meeting are pre -booked, therefore confirmation of attendance and meal selection in advance is necessary, by contact with Bob Walker (Chairman) or Scott McBryde (Relief Secretary as from Jan 2014).

For information; details of the meeting venue are as follows:

         The Orepool Pub and Restaurant,

         Chepstow Road,




         GL16 8LH.

Telephone: 01594 833883.

Other News Items.

RGBW Association Forest of Dean Branch

On 17th April members met at Lydney Park to lay a wreath at the Korean Oak in memory of those soldiers who lost their lives in the Korean War.

Roy Mills, who fought in Korea and was also a prisoner of war, laid a wreath on behalf of the Forest of Dean Branch.



Lydney Park

Regimental Standards and British Legion Standards were paraded. Rojer Phelps played The Last Post and Reveille.

On Friday lst July, in remembrance of the Battle of the Somme, members attended the War Memorial at Lydney, together with the Mayor and members of the community, to pay their respects to the 13 men from Lydney who had lost their lives during this battle. Standard Bearers from the Branch and the Royal British Legion were present and our Chairman Bob Walker laid a wreath on behalf of the Gloucestershire Regiment. Children from Severnbanks and Lydney Church of England primary schools attended the ceremony and read out the names of those 13 men. The Treasurer of the British Legion’s Lydney Branch gave three blasts on a First World War whistle to recreate the sound that sent British troops into battle on 1st July 1916.
On Friday 11 November members and Standard Bearers attended Clearwell Cemetary to lay a wreath at the grave of Francis Miles VC. Tony Linker gave a short summary on Francis Miles and the circumstances in which he gained his Victoria Cross. Rojer Phelps played The Last Post and Reveille. It was a crisp, sunny morning and members retired to Tony and Rhoda’s house for very welcome refreshments.

On Sunday 13th November Bob Townley attended the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, Whitehall and marched with the RGBW contingent. Bob can be seen in the 4th row. Over 10,000 veterans marched and yet again the weather stayed dry throughout the event.

To end the year the Branch met at The Orepool, Sling, for Christmas lunch on Tuesday 29 November. Another fantastic lunch and get together. Well done Bob Walker and wife Marion for all their efforts in making sure the event went smoothly. 

During the lunch Ken and Sandra Meek were presented with an Award of Appreciation (produced by Alan Putterill) in grateful thanks for all their support to the Branch over the years.

Lunch ended with everyone singing carols accompanied by Rojer Phelps on his trumpet. Gill Phelps had produced carol sheets so there was no excuse for not singing and we all did our best to sing in tune. A marvellous end to the year’s activities. We all meet up again for lunch at The Orepool on Tuesday 31st January 2017.

Korean Oak Ceremony
1100hrs Tuesday 18 April 2017

Members and their wives met at the Korean Oak Memorial in Bathurst Park, Lydney, to remember all those who had lost their lives in the Korean War.

Standards were paraded by Ray Vale, Scott McBryde and The Royal British Legion.

A wreath was laid at the Korean Oak by Roy Mills, a Korean Veteran, accompanied by Andrew Gardiner whose brother David had served in Korea. The Chairman of Lydney Royal British Legion, Ian, Hendy, also laid a wreath.

Tony Linker, our President, read the Ode of Remembrance and Rojer Phelps sounded the Last Post. A 2 minute Silence was observed followed by Reveille

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Wreath Laying at the Korean Oak at Lydney Park on Sunday 17 April 2016

Members, their wives and representatives from The Royal British Legion attended a Ceremony to Commemorate those Glosters who lost their lives in the Korean War. Roy Mills, who fought in Korea and who was also a Prisoner of War, laid a wreath at the Korean Oak. Rojer Phelps played Reveille and The Last Post. Gloucestershire Regimental and Royal British Legion Standards were Paraded.

Bob Walker and Scott McBryde at Gloucesters Armed Forces Day event

Korean Oak Planting at Bathurst Park, Lydney, Glos at 11:00hrs on 08 December 2013

The Opening address was read by Tony Linker, President of the Forest of Dean Regimental Association, prior to the planting of the Korean Oak Tree by Roy Mills, a Veteran of the Battle of the Imjin River. Roy was accompanied by the Lydney Town Mayor. The Wreath was also laid by Roy Mills. Tony Linker read the Ode of Remembrance and a Bugler from 1 Rifles sounded Last Post, followed by a 2 minutes silence. Last Reveille was then sounded and an Expression of Thanks was read by Tony Linker. Standards were carried RGBW Association and The Royal British Legion. commemorative bronze plaque set in a stone plinth will be erected alongside the Korean Oak.

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Clearwell Church

After the Service of Remembrance at the Clock Tower in Coleford members and their wives travelled down to Clearwell Church for a short service at the grave of Francis Miles VC. Together with children from Clearwell Primary School we listened to Tony Linker, our President, give a short talk about Francis Miles, which went as follows:

Francis Miles, born in Clearwell on 9 July 1896 and died in Clearwell on 8 November 1961. He was a 22 year old private soldier in the 1/5 Bn Glosters at Bois-L'Eveque, France, when his Company was held up by a line of enemy machine guns in a sunken road. He went forward alone and on his own initiative, under heavy fire, shot the gunner and put the gun out of action. Then, seeing another gun nearby, went forward alone and shot the gunner and took 8 prisoners. He finally stood up and beckoned the Company forward who were then able to capture 16 machine guns, 1 Officer and 50 Other Ranks. For this he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He joined up again in WWII in the Pioneer Corps.

Maj Phil Hall MBE laid a wreath on behalf of the Association alongside that from the Clearwell Primary School'



 at the branch meeting on 25 august 2015 a certificate of appreciation was presented to ken kerley in recognition of his past service to the branch in the role of chairman and attendance at the branch for 15 years. his wife dot was also presented with a back badge brooch.

These are photos taken at the grave of Francis Miles VC at Clearwell Church on 11 November 2015. Children from Clearwell Primary School laid a wreath at the grave with Forest of Dean members in attendance. 

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 Christmas Lunch 2015

Forest of Dean members met for their Christmas Lunch at The Orepool, Sling, on Tuesday 24 November 2015. It was a lively event and the lunch concluded with Christmas Carols. Rojer Phelps, a former Bandsman, played his trumpet and members shouted out requests. Rojer must have been exhausted at the end. Well Done Rojer. And, yes, glasses were full throughout the event,but all those driving were rationed. Which meant most wives had a great time.

 Clearwell Cemetery 2016

On Friday 11th November 2016 Forest of Dean branch members met at the graveside of Francis Miles VC at Clearwell Cemetery. Our President Tony Linker gave a short account of the circumstances in which Pte Miles was awarded the Victoria Cross. Standard Bearers Ray Vale and Scott McBryde were present and Rojer Phelps played The Last Post and Reveille.
Whilst in London on Sunday 13th for the Service at The Cenotaph, Scott visited the Imperial War Museum and saw the glass case containing the photo of Francis Miles VC and his medals

 Cenotaph 2016

On Sunday 13th November 2016 Forest of Dean branch members Bob Townley and Scott McBryde attended The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph as part of the RGBW Association contingent. 10,000 Veterans were present and this year the RGBW Veterans formed part of Column A near the front of the Parade. Bob and Scott can be seen in row 4 of the Regimental Association. HRH Prince Charles took the Salute at Horseguards Parade

 Christmas Lunch 2016

Members met up on 29 November at the Orepool, Sling, for our Christmas Lunch. During lunch Ken Meek and his wife Sandra were delighted to be presented with a Plaque of Appreciation for all their support to the Branch over the years. After much joviality, cracker pulling and raffle, we all sang along to carols played by Rojer Phelps on his trumpet. A fitting end to a lovely lunch. We all meet up again on Tuesday 31st January 2017 at the Orepool.

  Clearwell Cemetery 2017

On Saturday 11 November 2017 Forest of Dean branch members gathered at Clearwell cemetery to lay a wreath at the grave of of Francis Miles VC. France Miles was a Pte serving in 1/5 Bn Glosters when he was awarded a Victoria Cross in recognition of his bravery at Bois-L`Eveque, France, in WWI. Branch President Tony Linker gave a short talk on Francis Miles. Ray Vale paraded the Branch Standard, Alan Putterill laid the wreath and Rojer Phelps played the Last Post and Reveille. They were accompanied by Bob Walker, Branch Chairman, and Rhoda Linker.


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