Awards for volunteers who work tirelessly for Rushden’s Royal British Legion

Tracey Smith with Julie West
Tracey Smith with Julie West
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More than 30 awards have been presented to members of Rushden’s Royal British Legion (RBL) in recognition of their dedication and support.

A total of 36 honours were handed out at the ceremony attended by Rushden mayor Tracey Smith.

Mike Wadsworth, Irene Curtis and Tracey Smith

Mike Wadsworth, Irene Curtis and Tracey Smith

The awards were for a variety of services to the Legion, ranging from community fundraising to committee roles and covering a period of five years to 65 years.

Among the recipients was Julie West for 65 years of service.

Julie has been selling poppies for the branch since leaving school, and her daughter and her grandaughter now sell poppies too.

Julie’s father was killed in France during the war and she said: “You never forget, I was six when he got killed.”

More than 30 awards were given out

More than 30 awards were given out

Memories of her father include him coming home and bringing her Mars bars, and it is his memory which has been one of her reasons for supporting the Legion for more than six decades.

She said it was ‘pounds, shillings and pence’ when she first started and over the years, she has helped raise thousands of pounds by selling poppies, including when she worked at Budgens in the town.

And even after 65 years, she has no plans to step down from the fundraising.

The recent awards event was held as the Rushden branch has just revealed that £46,613.71 has been raised so far, which includes £837 raised at the recent Cavalcade event in Rushden.

Tracey Smith with Daphne Horn

Tracey Smith with Daphne Horn

The people of Rushden were thanked for their support, as well as RBL members and all those who volunteer to help with the Poppy Appeal.

Organiser of the branch’s Poppy Appeal Barbara Clark said: “This is a tremendous effort and the sum total represents about £1.50 per head of the population of Rushden.

“Thank you for all your support and we look forward to seeing many of you over the Armed Forces Day and weekend commencing Friday evening of June 16.”

All the winners from the Rushden branch awards:

- Branch president David Hawker (20 years’ service)

- Branch chairman Paul Mills (five years’ service)

- Branch treasurer Irene Curtis (five years’ service)

- Branch Poppy Appeal organiser Barbara Clark (five years’ service)

- Former branch treasurer Mike Wadsworth with Irene Curtis (current branch treasurer) for treasurer’s award for long service and Julie West (65 years’ service)

- Dee Smith and Andy Collier (10 years’ service )

- Julie Errington (20 years of fundraising)

- Branch bugler Bob Crick (for fundraising)

- Colin Kennel (35 years’ service)

- Daphne Horn (40 years’ service with bar)

- Ellen Inwood (50 years’ service and bar)

- Les Meakings (many years’ service as nembership secretary)

- Branch vice chairman Phil Blanchard (10 years’ service)

- Five years certificates were awarded to: Margaret De Monte, Tom Milligan, Robin Bryant, Jason Gillan, Amy Finney, Edna Wadsworth, Debbie Patterson, Kevin Baker, Denise Carter and Branch Secretary Alan Clark

- 10 years certificates were awarded to: Dee Smith, Paul Cox, Alan Palmer, Keith Cox, Lui De Monte, Michael Wadsworth and Kay Finney

- 20 years brooch was awarded to Julie Errington, branch president David Hawker and Alan Smith

- 30 years brooch was awarded to Joy Palmer, Harry Graham MBE and Jackie Sharkey

- 35 years brooch was awarded to Colin Kennel

- 40 years brooch was awarded to Daphne Horne and Mick Dyte

- 45 years bar was awarded to Megan Graham

- 50 years bar was awarded to Ellen Graham and Mollie Clifton

- 65 year bar was awarded to Julie West