Dear Member

A message from your Downs Branch Royal British Legion

Now that Covid restrictions have eased I am delighted to announce that we are having our first Branch Meeting for many a long month so please do your best to attend.

The meeting will be held at the RMA Club on the Strand and will be an opportunity for you to have your say when and where we hold our future meetings.

Date Thursday 9th September 2021

Time 12.30 (Doors open 12.00 for pay bar)

Place RMA Club The Strand Walmer CT14 7DX

The meeting will close at 2.00pm.

Your Membership is vital, your support is vital, your opinion on the way forward is vital so please come along we need you there!

This message is being sent to all members, however please tell any fellow member you may bump into!

I look forward to seeing you all again.

Best Regards Edward Barkway  Branch Chair.

Check out our websites AND


Happy Birthday Royal British Legion! Congratulations on reaching 100yrs of service to the Armed Forces Community!



Your Branch has purchased this book which may be borrowed by any member, please contact Edward at               Or on 07885110384


Important Zoom Meeting All Members can Attend.

A group meeting has been organised by Susan Foster at 19.00 Wednesday 12th May click the link to join, any problems contact Susan on                 07734 383691. The meeting is open to all members of the Downs Branch.


Hot News! our weekly Quiz & “Items of interest” will be starting again now we have all rested after Christmas & the New Year. First Quiz 25th Feb First “Item of interest” 29th Feb so make sure you are receiving our web pages, this one and

Stay Safe Everyone!



To all our members, friends and page visitors the very best of health and happiness in 2021, let us hope we can meet in person soon!




The conference will be held virtually by using “Teams” a link will be sent out in due course. If you would like a particular issue raised as a motion at the meeting then please submit it to me BEFORE 12th December (our next virtual Committee Meeting)

If you would like to be be a delegate at the County virtual meeting again contact me as above please.



BRANCH AGM  2nd November 2020

The Royal British Legion HQ has directed that because of Covid-19 the current members of the Branch Committee should remain in post until such times that open meetings are permitted. A confirmation list of Branch Committee members will be published after the 2nd November.

PLEASE circulate to to any member/s you know, Thank You.


Important message from Sandra Fruish MBA MSc Assistant Director Membership.                                                                                                                 

On Sunday the Government announced its latest guidance on Covid19 and social distancing; however, because of the ongoing threat to individuals the Legion is not changing its position and the previous guidance for members still stands, in that all non-essential meetings should be cancelled or postponed.  These include branch and county/district meetings and remembrance events at war memorials. We continue to urge members to follow the government advice, particularly guidance on social distancing for the over 70’s and vulnerable people, which includes avoiding large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces. For further information and advice members should refer to the website;  however, there are some variations in the advice and guidance provided by different governments. Below are some helpful links to official information:

UK Government (advice which mainly applies only to England):

All information on coronavirus is brought together here: A series of Frequently Asked Questions about some of the latest announced measures is available here:


Cpt Tom’s Birthday Card!

Good evening everyone,

A few days ago Mary Eldridge former Branch Secretary for many years approached me about sending a Birthday card on behalf of our Branch  to Cpt. Tom Moore, I thought this was a wonderful suggestion and I asked her to please do that for us. As you might imagine getting a 100th Birthday card was easier said than done! in steps Lydia O’Connor, former committee member well known for her home-grown cards, and offered to make one for us.

This has duly been done and as I type it has probably just landed on Tom’s doormat, on behalf of you all my Special Thanks to Mary and Lydia for their great joint effort, well done Ladies!


Good Morning Members and Friends a Happy St George’s Day to you all from your committee, Stay Safe!

Chairman flies the flag!


Message from the Chairman 24th March 2020

 Good Afternoon Downs RBL members and friends, you do not need me to tell you how difficult the current situation is for us all, however Keep Calm and Carry On!

We cannot hold our monthly Branch and Committee meetings and the forthcoming Remembrance and other events we have on our calendar will most likely need to be cancelled, I will let you know via these pages as soon as a decision is reached.

Any other RBL important business that would normally be raised at Branch meetings I will publish as soon as it arrives.

Your committee are going to keep you in touch through these pages, Sue our Secretary is going to publish a weekly “just for fun” quiz starting Monday 30th March, a new set of questions will be published along with the previous weeks answers every Monday onwards, so warm up those “little grey cells”

Other committee members are going to submit an “item of interest” this will be published the first Friday of every week starting with yours truly having been “volunteered” for this Friday 27th March, followed by your Presidents piece Friday 3rd April.

If you know of fellow members not able to access the web then PLEASE let them know what’s going on, we need all members to be kept in touch in whatever way we can, it’s an important part of what the Legion is about!

Every one of us, our family and friends are being affected by the current crisis our country is going through, Joe de Zille our Treasurer and Parade Marshal is a front line National Health worker and I am sure you will agree with me when I send our special good wishes and thanks to him for the tremendous work he is doing.

All good wishes to you all.


PS Please subscribe to both our web sites to keep in contact and up to date. And


IMPORTANT NOTICE 18th March 2020

Dear RBL Downs Branch Members

You will not need me to tell you that the Corona Virus is having quite an effect on all our daily activities.
After much soul searching over the last few days and a discussion with our Vice Chairman last night I have decided that Committee and Branch Meetings are to be suspended until further notice, I am taking full responsibility for this decision and I hope you will understand it is in the best interest of us all.
I will be monitoring the situation and hopefully we can return to normal service in the not too distant future, I will keep you all up dated via the website/s.
In the meantime please subscribe to our web page (it’s free) and please let fellow members know especially if they don’t have access to the internet.
If you need any further information please contact me on, 07885110384 or 01304 363947.
Stay safe! Best Regards.




Don’t miss our first meeting in the Gibraltar Room Monday 2nd March @ 19.30! pay bar open 19.00.



At the Branch Meeting on 3rd February a substantial number of members present voted in favour of holding our Branch Meetings as from 2nd March 2020 in the Gibraltar Room at The RMA Club, The Strand, Deal. Further information from Edward Barkway 07885110384 OR 

Branch Meetings are held the first Monday of every month including Bank Holidays. (We do not meet in January) 19.00 for 19.30 in the Gibraltar Room at The RMA Club on the Strand, Deal.  ALSO find us at the Clubs and Societies page in the EKM for regular reports, not always weekly! AND on Facebook


At the Branch Meeting on 3rd February a substantial number of members present voted in favour of holding our Branch Meetings as from 2nd March 2020 in the Gibraltar Room at The RMA Club, The Strand, Deal. Further information from Edward Barkway 07885110384 OR 



Branch Members are politely reminded that a Valid Membership Card MUST be shown at The Branch Meeting 3rd February if you wish to vote on the possible change of our monthly meeting venue.                                                                                                                  Thank You.



A quick reminder that the last branch meeting of 2019 will be on Monday 2nd December so please come along so I can wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!



Members are politely reminded that you MUST show a current Membership Card to be admitted to the meeting.

ONLY those members properly proposed and seconded and notified to Malcolm Gibbons OR Edward Barkway on or before the 11th October will be eligible to be stand as per the announcements at the Branch meetings 2nd September & 7th October  (see the notice below)


CWGC Monday 10th October scroll to poster below!


Annual General Meeting 4th November 2019

Of The Downs Branch RBL

In the function room of The Alma Pub.

The meeting will take place at 19.30 if you wish to serve on the Branch Committee you must register your interest, now, at the October 7th Meeting OR at the very latest with Malcolm or Edward by Friday 11th October 2019


07510 187931



 07885 110384

YOUR committee needs YOU so please register your interest NOW!

(Please note the closing date for nominations)



October 7th Branch Meeting we have a speaker and power point presentation about the CWG Commission, see poster below for full info!


Quick reminder that we have an interesting speaker this coming Monday 1st July see the poster below!


County Vice Chair visit….

I am delighted to announce that our County Vice Chairman Mrs Cherrie Harris will be at our meeting tomorrow evening 6th May, Cherrie will be accompanied  by her husband David, please come along to give them a warm Downs Branch welcome!


Everyone welcome including non members


Just a quick reminder that we have a very interesting speaker at our next meeting Monday 1st April, see the poster below.


New National President Announced

At its meeting held on 21st February, the Board of Trustees was pleased to ratify the recommendation of the Governance Committee that Lieutenant General James Bashall CB CBE be appointed as the next National President of The Royal British Legion.  Lieutenant General Bashall will take up his appointment upon the completion of Annual Conference 2019, that is to say, Sunday 19th May.


The funeral of June Walker our Branch Presidents wife on 10th January was attended by 125 mourners including nine members from our branch.

The opening hymn was “Oh God our help in ages past” in attendance were 10 Legion Standards, ours and the County Standard being on guard to June’s coffin.

A wreath, one each from Downs and Staple branches, was placed at the Chancel rail.

The most moving service included a reading from Proverbs, a moving tribute from Tony West and was followed by the hymn “I vow to thee my country”

A video was filmed and is to be sent to Aussies son in Australia.



It is with great sadness that I have to announce the sad passing of Mrs June Walker the wife of our Branch President Mr “Aussie” Austin  Walker MBE.

June’s funeral will take place at Margate Crematorium, Manston Road, Margate CT9 4LY (01843 577333) on Thursday 10th January 2019 at 3.15pm

June passed away on Wednesday 19th December and will be greatly missed by us all.

Family flowers only, donations if desired can be made to RBL Downs Branch OR RBL Staple Branch, cheques posted to the funeral directors Gore Bros Ltd 50-60 Thanet Rd Margate CT9 1UB.




  1. Last Branch Meeting of 2018 is on Monday 3rd December, Mince Pies included!
  2. Christmas Draw Wednesday 12th December @ The Alma Function Room 18.30 for 19.00


Dear Members if you wish to have an item placed on the agenda for our branch AGM you MUST let Mary know by Monday 29th October.


Branch AGM at The Alma Pub West St Deal 19.00 for 19.30 Monday 5th November.


Monday 3rd September

At last nights meeting County President Leyland Ridings MBE was warmly welcomed by 36 members and the branch committee to carry out a very special presentation to branch Secretary Mary Eldridge.

Mary has been awarded her “Gold Badge” for her dedication and service to the Royal British Legion, the badge is made of solid gold as is befitting the award and has to be approved by the powers that be at National Level, it is the highest award of merit that a legion member can receive.

 Unsuspecting Mary busy being Secretary
 Leyland about to present an unsuspecting Mary with her Gold Badge
 Mary for the first time ever very nearly speechless!
 A beautiful bouquet presented by member Adrian Friend.
 Mary responding to the presentation in her typical humble way.
Mary has asked me to express her sincere thanks to all those instrumental in proposing and approving her award and to all the members present who expressed their congratulations with prolonged applause.

Well done Mary we are all very proud of you.

With thanks to Bob Davies for his photographs.


Edward on his knees to Zella! scroll down below the poster

A quick reminder………………

At the Monday 3rd September Branch Meeting our Kent County President Leyland Ridings MBE will be visiting us so please do your very best to come along and give him a warm Downs Branch welcome!

Rumour has it there will be free cheese and biccy’s!!


Quick reminder for Monday 6th see info poster below! 

                        Branch Meeting Monday 6th August full details in the poster below! 

                    NON MEMBERS ALWAYS WELCOME!

Who said “which one is the dummy”?


Members at Monday nights meeting, 2nd July, were treated to a most entertaining talk by Tony Starr (see poster below) Tony illustrated his talk with a slide show and display boards showing how the Time Ball works and the history of time keeping for ships leading up to the building of our 200 year old tower. He explained how the original Chronometer was located and purchased and is now on display in the Time Ball Tower. See pp4 of the East Kent Mercury.

Tony introduced Jeremy Davies-Webb who explained his involvement with “The Long Walk Home” project and Haig Housing, we hope to have Jeremy explain all at a forthcoming meeting, click the link below for full info.




A quick reminder that next Monday 4th June is our monthly Branch Meeting at the Alma Pub function room come along to hear what your committee are doing and get an updated financial report.


URGENT MESSAGE This evenings Inaugural “Group Meeting” 14th May has had to be cancelled at short notice, my apologies as the organiser Susan Foster has been called away on urgent family business. 

Edward 07885110384


Thirty One members at last nights branch meeting had a surprise visit from RBL County Youth Officer Susan Foster who posted the following comment on our Facebook page, thank you Susan please visit us again you are most welcome!

Thank you to you all for your warm welcome this evening. What a lovely branch you have and what commitment to youth in the Legion! I’m looking forward to getting to know you all better – see you soon.


Just a quick reminder that at our next Branch meeting Monday 2nd April we are having two very interesting Gentlemen to give a short talk, full info on the poster below, please come along, please bring your friends they will be very welcome!

Cheese & Biscuits to follow the talk!                                                                                                                                                            


This is becoming very embarrassing Graham sent his apologies as he and his wife are now down with Flu we are very sorry for any convenience caused however we won’t give up……yet!