Branch No.1159
Branch Charity No.1070716

 

R.A.F.A. Dedication

"In friendship and in service one to another, we are pledged to keep alive the memory of those of all nations who died in the Royal Air Force and in the Air Forces of the Commonwealth. In their
name we give ourselves to this noble cause, proudly and thankfully we will remember them."

Events 2018

 11th February 2018
Several members of the branch attended a memorial service at Aldenham to commemorate the life of Peter Kemp who died in February 1918 aged 19 years. Our standard bearer, Geoff Elmes paraded the Branch standard and Chairman Trevor Hayes laid a wreath at the altar.


Wreaths laid at the altar


Dignitaries at the service. Branch Standard bearer Geoff Elmes
 back right in the photograph.

March 2018
RAFA Halton branch invited our members to a St Patrick's Day veteran's lunch in March, cooked and prepared by Assistant Branch Support Officer Kevin and his helpers.
 
Photograph shows members enjoying the lunch.

March 2018
John Dicks (Wings Organiser) arranged our first Wings collection of the year at Asda Watford in March. We were lucky enough to enlist the help of serving member and member of the branch, Rob Cooke and two of his colleagues. Over £1600 was collected which was an amazing total.



Member Rob Cooke receiving a donation from a young contributor.


Serving members from RAF Benson helping with the collection.


Serving members and Veterans side by side behind the merchandise table



Branch Wings Organiser John Dicks at the end of a long day of collecting.

March 2018
Six members of the Branch Committee attended the Area Conference in Peterborough in March.
For the sixth year running, the Branch was presented with the Area Small Branch Efficiency Award.
The photograph shows Branch Chairman, Trevor Hayes, receiving the award from Area President Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin.
May 2018
At the Branch social evening in May, members enjoyed a buffet supper to celebrate the 100 years of the RAF. The buffet was followed by a talk by Denis Kelly entitled "The Man Who Ate His Boots" which was very interesting.


Trevor Hayes, receiving the award from Area President Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin.


Members enjoying the buffet.

May 2018
Two members of the Branch Committee attended the RAFA Centenary Celebration of the RAF at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire in May. The weather stayed dry and warm and it was a beautiful and very well attended service. Tea and cake was served in a large marquee following the service after which attendees were free to enjoy walking around the many wonderful memorials at the Arboretum.


Standard bearers getting in to position before the service.


The service was shown on large screens for those at the back of the audience.


During the service.

June 2018
Member John Newell volunteered to decorate and drive his car with RAF flags and bunting in the procession for the Abbots Langley Carnival on 10th June on behalf of the Branch. It was a great day and John enjoyed driving in the procession.
 

 
June 2018
On behalf of the Branch, Trevor Hayes, Chairman and Treasurer, and Pat, Social Secretary and Welfare Officer, attended the funeral near Portsmouth of Barry Furness who had been a great supporter of RAFA for over 40 years. Our Branch standard was carried to form a guard of honour by Clive White of RAFA Halton Branch. The reception was held after the funeral service at Fort Nelson. Photos show the poppy display that is touring the country and is currently at Ft Nelson

                         

June 2018
Branch members were invited to attend a guided tour of the Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden in June. Sixteen members enjoyed a very interesting and informative tour starting with a video presentation by Managing Director Dan Dark with a question and answer session, followed by a walking tour of the studios and a buggie tour of the back lot. We travelled down the old runway which was a real treat. We appreciate that this was a privilege as the Studios do not normally offer tours to the public. Although offered, it was decided that we would not visit the control tower as the stairs are very steep and it was only considered appropriate for the very strong and able bodied. The tour was followed by a delicious lunch at the local Barracuda cafe where we were joined by two more of our members who were unable to make the tour. In all, a wonderful day.
   


Branch members at the Warner Brothers Studio, Leavesden

 


The back lot tour in the Batman buggies


Lunch at the Barracuda cafe, after the tour.

June 2018
Branch standard bearer, Geoff Elmes, along with several branch members, attended the service of dedication in the Memorial Gardens, Abbots Langley, of a Poppy Memorial made by member Frank Rouse, to commemorate the Centenary of the end of the Great War, the 100th Anniversary of the RAF and the Lions Club.

The photograph shows Geoff with the Branch standard. Frank is second left.

June 2018
Branch Chairman Trevor and wife Pat were once again privileged to be invited by the Commanding Officer to attend the Annual Reception and Sunset Ceremony at RAF Henlow in June. As in previous years, it was a most enjoyable evening with good company and entertainment. The fly past this year was by a Dakota. Photos below were taken during the ceremony.
     
July 2018
Branch Chairman Trevor Hayes and Branch Secretary Bob Sheminant had the great honour of being selected to be presented to HRH the Duke of Kent at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on 13th July. The Duke shook hands and spent several minutes chatting with each of the seven selected veterans. The RAFA provided a Veteran's enclosure at the air show offering indoor and outdoor seating and refreshments for veterans and guests. A most enjoyable and memorable day from start to finish with a very impressive air display with participants from several countries.


HRH the Duke of Kent chatting to Branch Chairman Trevor Hayes, with Branch Secretary Bob Sheminant looking on.


Branch Secretary Bob Sheminant chatting with HRH the Duke of Kent.

RAF Benson Families Day. July 2018
Our serving member, Cpl Rob Cooke, very kindly invited members of the Branch to attend the annual Families Day at RAF Benson on 26th July.
18 members attended and had a lovely time on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year.
There were flying displays, classic cars, static aircraft and a military wives choir, plus a number of trade, food and charity stalls.

Seat in Kitters Green in Memory of David and Edna Francis
A seat has been placed in Kitters Green in memory of our dear friends, David and Edna Francis, by their family.
David worked tirelessly for just under 50 years for the Branch. He served in every capacity on the Committee over the years, latterly as Chairman and President.
Edna, an ex Land Army girl, was Branch Social Secretary for 26 years and fully supported David over the years.
David was also a very well respected Commanding Officer of the Watford 2F Squadron ATC for many years. The Squadron headquarters is named after him as a fitting tribute for his hard work and dedication.  
             

Saturday 1st September Sixteen members of the branch attended the Families Day at RAF Brize Norton. It was a superb day with entertainment including a Scottish bagpipe marching band, RAF Police dog demonstration, children's motorcycle display team, various fly pasts including a spitfire and hurricane, and ending with the RAF Falcons Parachute Team dropping in to the arena. There were numerous stalls, a fun fair, live music on stage and a static display of aircraft and classic cars.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day with great weather. A good time was had by all.

   

 

Battle of Britain Parade
The Branch organised the annual Battle of Britain Parade on 16th September and this year, for the first time, it was held at the new venue of St Lawrence's Church, Abbots Langley.
The parade and service were well attended. The parade was led by an ATC band, followed by standard bearers and several Squadrons of the ATC, veterans and serving members of the RAF.
Local dignitaries attended the service including two MP's, Mayors and council leaders, councillors and RAFA, ATC and British Legion members and members of the public.
The rev'd Peter Waddell held a very good service followed by a Wreath Laying ceremony at the War Memorial.

Battle of Britain Lunch at RAF Henlow
Six members of the committee attended the Battle of Britain Lunch at the Officers Mess RAF Henlow on 27th September. The event was very well attended. We had a three course lunch with wine and port, followed by a substantial raffle. It was a good opportunity to catch up with members of other branches throughout the area.

   

September Wings Collection
John Dicks, the Branch Wings Appeal Organiser, would like to thank all who volunteered to hold a tin and collect for the Wings Appeal in Asda in September. John is pictured with volunteer Squadron Leader Dean Gibson in front of the sales table.

   

100th Anniversary Remembrance Service at Hemel Hempstead School
Branch Chairman, Trevor Hayes, was invited by the Headmaster of the Hemel Hempstead School to attend a Remembrance Assembly on 9th November on behalf of RAFA. The Headmaster led the service and the Head Boy and Head Girl did readings. The Last Post was played by one of the pupils and a choir sang a very poignant song. Wreaths were laid by pupils and teachers.
Trevor said it was a great honour to be invited to such a moving service. The pupils and staff had obviously worked very hard to make it a very special occasion.


A fitting tribute from year 9 pupils.

Roll of Honour of former pupils above the door at the entrance to the library.


Wreaths laid at the service

RAF Invicta v Oxhey Jets Football Match and Remembrance Service
On Saturday 10th November, Branch Chairman Trevor Hayes and Standard Bearer Geoff Elmes were invited to attend a Remembrance Service preceding a football match between the RAF Invicta team and a local team, Oxhey Jets.
Geoff paraded the standard and a wreath was laid on behalf of the Branch by PCSO Michelle Russell as Trevor was unable to walk on the wet grass due to recent knee surgery.
Over 2000 was raised for the Poppy Appeal on the day.
Oxhey Jets won the game with a score of 2-1.


Preparing for the 2 minutes silence

The wreaths on display in the club house after the match.


The RAFA Wreath being laid. Geoff can be seen on the left with the Branch Standard.

100th Anniversary Remembrance Parade and Service
Serving member, Cpl Rob Cooke, paraded the Branch Standard at the 100th Anniversary Remembrance Parade and Service at St Lawrence's Church, Abbots Langley on Sunday 11th November. There was a record crowd lining the route of the parade and at the War Memorial where wreaths were laid.
The photo shows Rob on the left with the Branch standard at the entrance to the church alongside members of the RBL carrying the RBL standard and the Union standard.

     

*****

RAFA Abbots Langley & Kings Langley Branch
2016 Committee

Chairman: Trevor Hayes  2 Gypsy Lane, Hunton Bridge, Kings Langley, Herts, WD4 8PR.
Phone 01923 331975. E mail. trevor.hayes3@ntlworld.com
Public relations officer: Pat Hayes  e mail: pat1950hayes@gmail.com

RAFA Patron HM The Queen
Registered Charity Number 226686

Copyright RAFA Abbots Langley & Kings Langley Branch  2010

Email: info@rafa-abbots-kings-langley.co.uk

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