Annual Report published in the Gazette 1997

PRESIDENT: Captain J.W.H. Buxton

CHAIRMAN: D.T. Griffiths

HON. SECRETARY: A.F. Lock

MEETINGS: General and Half Yearly at Kingswood and Hanam Royal British Legion, Regent Street, Kingswood, Bristol. As notified. Committee meetings Third Monday of each month.

UNFORTUNATELY I have to start my first report as Secretary and a sad note. John Roach who was our Secretary for 21 years, passed away in April 1996 after a long illness which he fought with great courage. He was a true Grenadier and will be greatly missed by this Branch. Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife Mary and her family. The funeral took place at Westerleigh Crematorium Bristol and was attended by his family, fellow ex-Guardsmen, friends and colleagues. The Lieutenant Colonel, Brigadier E.J. Webb-Carter OBE, was unable to attend but was represented by his wife and the Association by the General Secretary, Captain Barry Double. The Chapel was full to capacity and Branch members formed up to provide a Guard of Honour for the cortege giving John  a 'send-off' of which he would have been proud and which he richly deserved. After the service we attended a buffet lunch where a Long Service Certificate, signed by HRH The Colonel, was presented by Captain Double on behalf of the Association. In recognition of John's long service to the Bristol Branch it had been the members intention to present him with a suitably inscribed bronze statuette. Unfortunately John died before the presentation day so it was presented to Mary at the same time by Captain Joe Buxton, our President.

The Branch have been active during the past year. A coach full of members and friends travelled to London  in May to attend Regimental Remembrance Day when old friends meet up once again. For various reasons Grenadier Day was not so well supported as in the past. Nevertheless, 70 members, families and friends made the trip and a good day was had by all. Our Cider Stall was as popular as ever and we sold out before the end of the day. The proceeds of this provided a welcome boost to Branch Funds. Long may it continue. Our shooting teams did not do very well but were willing contestants.

Our Sunday lunches which were held in March and October are proving very successful and we are hoping to make them regular events. In December we were once again invited to join the Coldstream Guards Association at their Household Division Dinner and Dance. This was well attended by our members who had a most enjoyable evening.

Finally I would like to end my first report by thanking Captain Double and his team for their help throughout the year and My President, Chairman, Committee, members wives and friends for their support. I would also like to thank Mary Roach, John's wife, who has helped me take over as Secretary. Without her help, guidance and support I would have found the task extremely difficult.