'We are the proud Worcesters'

SIR - I am writing about an article that was in the Worcester News on Friday, July 7 2017.

It concerns the Worcester Branch W.F.R.A. float that took part in the carnival, in tribute to Mike Layland. We had banners made that were clearly on display on the side of the lorry showing who we are, but in the excitement of the day they could well of been missed.

I would like your help to remind the local people of Worcestershire that we are their local Regiment’s former soldiers and many of them may have had relatives that served in these Regiments..

On numerous occasions we have been referred to as the British Legion. The British Legion do sterling work in the charitable area of helping ex services and their families, also with the Remembrance parades that are held up and down the country throughout the year.

The R.B.L. get more news and press coverage than we do as they are a national and worldwide recognised organisation. Some of us hold positions in Legion Branches and I am sure everyone of our members are Legion members.

Our Branch and the wider Association make regular donations and hold charitable fundraising events for a wide range of charities.

Our Regimental Museum being one, as they have lost their M.O.D. funding.

We are very proud of our Regimental title and our heritage goes back to 1694 with many famous battle honours that are regularly and traditionally remembered, Glorious 1st June 1794 and Gheluvelt 31st October 1914 to name just two. The Legion goes back to the 15th May 1921.

It is very easy to misidentify us with the Royal British Legion as we wear the same type of clothing.

Our Standards (flags) are very different, our three Branch Standards are GREEN with a Regimental cap badge in the centre, or in the case of our Worcestershire Regiments Standard there are three badges, The Worcestershire Regiment, The Royal Artillery and The Worcestershire Hussars. Our other two Standards have the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters badge ( 1970 - 2007 ) in the centre.

The Royal British Legion Standards are BLUE with a yellow  band across the middle and in the corner of the Standard a union flag.

Unless you are used to the Standards they can can be difficult to tell apart, especially if they are furled up.

We are also at times called Foresters by people in Worcestershire!  Most of our members are ex Worcestershire Regiment Soldiers 29th & 36th of foot, they have never been a Forester.

I wonder if, that it is easy just to remember the last words of our current title.

Some Worcesters served in both Worc Rgt and W.F.R. as their service spanned the amalgamation in 1970 with The Sherwood Foresters Regiment 45th & 95th of foot, the amalgamated Regiment were nicknamed ‘Woofers’.

In 2007 W.F.R. along with the Cheshire Regt  and Staffordshire Regt . were re badged, W.F.R. became the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, to date there is no Mercian Regiment  Association in Worcester that we have been informed of.

So please, any help in helping to promote who we are and getting the people of Worcestershire take pride in their Local Regiments would be warmly welcomed.

We are constantly advertising for ex Worcester and Forester soldiers to join a branch as the older Worcestershire Regiment soldiers are getting thinned out in the ranks (due to age).

We have recently voted overwhelmingly and in strongly worded terms to stop our name from changing to the Mercian Regiment Association as it would not have Worcestershire in the title, we need more ex Woofers to join us to keep the very proud name of ‘Worcestershire’ in OUR title .

Details can be found on our branch site  www.wfraworcester.com.

Nigel Fish

Chairman, Worcester Branch, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association W.F.R.A.

'They are just ‘soldiers’'

SIR - Harriett Baldwin MP wrote to support the Armed Forces. But is the Army suffering from management-speak?

Your picture’s title, Ministry of Defence personnel is weird. Why not call them what they are, soldiers?

They’re from a very illustrious regiment too. The saffron-kilted pipers and Domhnall on his lead are Irish Guards.

They’re marching somewhere (not Worcester) but why not our own County’s Grenadier Guards?

Gerry Taggart


'Oh, the joys of cycling'

SIR - The joys of cycling are many fold: what better way to explore Worcester’s countryside during the summer, mostly anyone can cycle and it’s good for your health without even noticing.

Recently I have discovered loads of cherry trees, seen animals I’d probably miss in a car and I’ve even seen baby deer.

I reckon too, it’s a very civilized way of getting around. I’ve never seen a cyclist with road rage and cyclists usually greet one another.

Also a guilty pleasure, I like zooming past ‘executives’ in their big cars stuck in a jam in more ways than one. Our future PM is a cyclist - I knew I couldn’t help mentioning politics.

Dave Griffiths