The Branch News

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The Branch holds its Committee Meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm.

Moina Belle Michael Biography

Moina Belle Michael was an American teacher who had the idea to create an emblem of Remembrance using the red Flanders poppy.
At the age of 49, with a career in teaching for over 30 years already behind her, she had this inspirational idea in November 1918. She decided to dedicate her life to campaign to have this emblem recognized by governments, veteran agencies and the public. She continued with this project for the next 26 years until her death in 1944 and became affectionately known as "the Poppy Lady".

Red Flanders Poppy

Every year the Flanders Poppy comes back into the news as we remember those who have lost their lives. Many people want to plant them to create some sort of memorial over the summer. Flanders Poppy Latin name is Papaver Rhoeas. This is commonly called the Field Poppy sometimes the Corn or Red Poppy. This sort of poppy is an annual. This is important in that in the right conditions they grow quickly, will flower in the summer but generally will only last one year. The ground has to be cultivated and tragically they appeared on ground that had been churned up by War. Then the following summer Red Flanders Poppies appeared as if a memorial of the battles. This was the case in the 1st world ward which is where the name Flanders Poppy came from Historically they also appeared in arable fields when a farmer ploughed a field. With the dominance of Agrochemical control they have nearly disappeared. Poppies ideally need a cold spell to trigger germination. They do best if sown in the autumn. They can be sown in the spring but do better if sown in early spring, Poppy seed is exceptionally small and fine. There are about 8,000 seeds per gram. Before planting, the ground needs clearing and preparing. It helps to bulk the seed up with a medium such as sand. Spread at about 1 to 2 grams per sq metre. Walk all over it or roll afterwards. The seed wants to be very slightly pushed into the ground rather than buried too deep. If it successfully established then Poppies should flower between June and August. If you want to try and get them to reseed the second year. Wait until the seeds have shed. Cut the area down and leave on the ground for a few days, then rake the ground hard and roll afterwards.

In Flanders Fields By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army In Flanders Fields the poppies blow between the crosses row on row, that mark our place; and in the sky. the larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago, we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe, to you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high if ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow.

To view, click on the links below

1. The Story Behind the Remembrance Poppy

2. The Four Pillars of The Royal British Legion (Need your Sound On)

3. National Memorial Arboretum - (Need your Sound On)

4. British War Graves

5. May 8, 1945 Millions rejoice on Victory in Europe Day Day as German surrender ends World War 2 in Europe

6. VJ Day, 2 September, commemorates the Allied victory over Japan in World War II.

VJ - 15th August 1945 Day

Japan surrendered to the Allies after almost six years of war.

Victory over Japan Day (also known as Victory in the Pacific Day, V-J Day, or V-P Day) is a name chosen for the day on which Japan surrendered, in effect ending World War II, and subsequent anniversaries of that event. The term has been applied to both of the days on which the initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made - to the afternoon of August 15, 1945, in Japan, and, because of time zone differences, to August 14, 1945 (when it was announced in the United States and the rest of the Americas and Eastern Pacific Islands) - as well as to September 2, 1945, when the signing of the surrender document occurred, officially ending World War II.

There was joy and celebration around the world and 15 August was declared Victory in Japan day.

The end of war was marked by two-day holidays in the UK, the USA and Australia. Allied nations celebrated VJ Day Japan had surrendered to the Allies after almost six years of war. There was joy and celebration around the world and 15 August was declared Victory in Japan day.

Click on the Tilehurst Royal British Legion Links below to view the PDF Document Downloads


Awaiting update for
April 2019


Reading Man Tropper Potts VC


Help for Heros Statement


Tilehurst Royal British Branch History


Berkshire War Memorials


Water Road Memorial


May 8 1945: Millions rejoice on Victory in Europe Day as German surrender ends World War II in Europe


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Click on the text below to see the Surrender of Japan

The surrender of Imperial Japan was announced on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) was incapable of conducting major operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent.


May 8 1945: Millions rejoice on Victory in Europe Day as German surrender ends World War II in Europe


This section includes film of the Battle of Passchendaele.
Need your sound on.

Note: If you are unable to open the above Downloads, click the Get Adobe Reader link below and install the Adobe Reader.

Observe Remembrance Day

A poppy is a flowering plant in the subfamily Papaveroideae of the family Papaveraceae. Poppies are herbaceous plants, often grown for their colourful flowers. One species of poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the source of the crude drug opium which contains powerful medicinal alkaloids such as morphine and has been used since ancient times as an analgesic and narcotic medicinal and recreational drug. It also produces edible seeds. Following the trench warfare in the poppy fields of Flanders during World War I, poppies have become a symbol of remembrance of soldiers who have died during wartime. Originally erected to commemorate WW1 it has only recently had the names of those who died in WW2 added. In 2010 one more name was added from the conflict in Afghanistan.


Awaiting below for updated photos for 2018

Observe Remembrance Day

People stop work to observe a moment of silence at 11am on November 11, which is the time and date when hostilities formally ended after more than four years of battle during World War I. Poppies are worn as a symbol of respect and tribute on Remembrance Sunday and/or November 11. The day is also marked by events such as memorial services, church services and parades. A national commemoration takes place at Whitehall, a road in the City of Westminster in central London.

This memorial commemorates the residents of Tilehurst who were killed or missing in the First World War (28 July 1914) and the Second World War (May 8 1945) and later conflicts.
Situated in the area known as The Triangle the memorial has been re-sited in the pedestrianised area of the village.



Christine Lewendon laying a wreath on behalf of Tilehurst Royal British Legion at Reading's Forbury Town Memorial, just after our Lady Mayor had officiated for the two minutes silence.


Please Note - The Maiwand Lion is a sculpture and war memorial in Forbury Gardens a public park in the town of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. The statue was named after the Battle of Maiwand and was erected in 1886 to commemorate the deaths of 329 men from the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment of Foot during the campaign in Afghanistan between 1878 and 1880. It is sometimes known locally as the Forbury Lion.

Click here if you require further details on the Battle of Maiwand

READING & BERKSHIRE WAR MEMORIAL This simple but dignified memorial, outside the Victoria Gate entrance to Forbury Gardens, honours the people of Reading and Berkshire who died in the two World Wars. The Memorial is an old photo - there were lots of wreaths there when Christine Lewendon from the Tilehurst Branch laid a wreath on Sunday. The Maiwand Lion in the background commemorates the soldiers of the Berkshire Regiment who lost their lives at the battle of Maiwand in Afghanistan and in the subsequent campaign which ended the Second Afghan War. The year was 1880 - the last time that our soldiers fought on our behalf in the same part of that country and under the same extreme conditions.

Further details can be found by clicking on above No 7 PDF document.

Sunday 7th September 2014

Reading ex Gurkhas presented our Branch with a cheque for £1001

The Gurkhas had collected the money from their recent Charity Dinner. Ray Lander the Branch Chairman of the Poppy Appeal Committee in his speech of thanks explained how the proceeds of the Appeal will be spent helping serving, ex servicemen and their families in need.
In the photo from left to right is Gill Povey, Christine Lewendon the Branch President, Andy Gale the Branch Standard Bearer, Ray Povey the Chairman of the Poppy Appleal Committee, Ray Lander the Branch Chairman and Jane Gale the Membership Secretary.

The Gurkhas spokesman mentioned that their Association was 485 members strong and that there were 3,000 to 4,000 Gurkhas and their families now in Reading and were so impressed by the warmth they have received by the townsfolk. During the hospitality that we were pleased to give the Gurkhas; there was the usual immediate feeling of comradeship felt by ex servicemen. They were so impressed by the benefits of membership that they all took away application forms to join the RB Legion and our Club.

Sunday 6th April 2014

The Tilehurst Branch 80th Anniversary Memoral Stone wording

In the photo from the left is:-

The Womens Standard Bearer Helen Lander, Mrs Jenny Beeney RBL Tilehurst Women's Section President (0118 9429891), Councillor Jo Lovelock Leader of Reading Borough Council, Group Captain David Drew RBL Berkshire County Chairman (01235 835213), Mr John Potten RBL Branch President (0118 9451206) and the Branch Standard Bearer Andy Gale.

It was a short service, in the rain, with very short speeches. The dedication was to all past members who have served the Legion and its motto 'Service not Self'. They are all remembered and the names of many are recorded, with the approval of their next of kin in the Book of Remembrance on display within this Club.

Corporal Richard Green killed in Afghanistan on Tue 2nd March 2010

Cpl Green's Mum laying a wreath at the Tilehurst Triangle Memorial Tilehurst War Memorial 2011.

His mother leads the laying of the Poppy Wreaths each year at our service on Remembrance Sunday.

Click on the picture of Richard below to see him out in Afghanistan 2009/10

You need your sound on

Tilehurst Royal British Legion Tree and plaque at the National Memorial Arboretum

If any member visiting the site would like to locate this position, then you should ask the staff to direct you to the section of the railway lines from the Burma Railway, it is on a grass bank close to this.

Further details of R Thompson and the Royal Oak can be viewed by clicking on the following link:-

HMS Royal Oak

The Royal British Legion has its own YouTube channel where you can find an extensive collection of videos that they have produced, and if you subscribe to their channel you'll be automatically updated when we add new videos. To view the videos, click the link below and turn your Sound On.

The Royal British Legion