On Friday 18th August we held a reception at the Crown and Cushion Hotel to present our member Mr Reg Williams with the Legion d' Honneur, awarded to him by the French for his part in the liberation of France.

Present were Reg's wife Ruth and members of their family, Mr David Astor Deputy Lieutenant, Lynda Atkins RBL Oxfordshire County Chairman, Deputy Mayor Don Davidson, the Reverend Victor Story, members of Chipping Norton Royal British Legion and their guests and villagers from Little Compton, where the Williams live.

Lance Corporal Williams of the 2nd Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment landed on Gold Beach on 6th June 1944, D-Day.  They fought their way off the beach and took the town of Bayeux  the following day. Reg was wounded in the Battle of the Falaise Pocket in August 1944 and evacuated  back to England and hospitalised for 4 months. When he recovered he was sent to Vienna with the Allied commission in Austria. Reg  is pictured on the left below, whilst in Rome.

After our President Linda Maia e Silva welcomed our guests our Chairman Steve Kingsford recited the Ode for the Fallen and the Reverend Victor Sturdy paid tribute to to the work of the Royal British Legion before saying a prayer for those who died in conflict.

We made two presentations before the main event, firstly County Chairman Lynda Atkins presented Mr Pat Nolan with a certificate and badges for 45 years service to the Poppy Appeal.

Our President then presented Mr Phil Nicks, a member of our committee, with an certificate of appreciation and Branch Life Membership for all of his work and support over the years.

The Chairman paid tribute to Reg, recalling his service in the Battle of Normandy and reading letters from the Duke of Kent, Queens Colonel to the 1st Battalion, The Rifles which absorbed the Gloucesters a few years ago, and from local MP, Mr Robert Courts. He then asked Mr David Astor, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire to present Reg his medal, which the branch had had court mounted.

Flowers were presented to Mrs Ruth Williams and souvenir "Ted Devils" parachutist Teddy Bears were given to Reg's three great grandchildren. Ruth then presented our President and owner of the Crown and Cushion with flowers and a pewter tankard to our Chairman for organising the event.

A buffet was then served and we were entertained by jazz singer Kim Osmond, accompanied by Martin Pickett on piano. The evening was a great success and it was wonderful that Reg's family had travelled from afar to be with him. It was a privilege and an honour to be able to organise this reception for him. More photos from the evening below.