Cotswold Airport Revival to Support TRBL

On 29th and 30th September, Cotswold Airport is throwing open its gates to the public once again for its incredible vintage and wartime extravaganza, the ‘Cotswold Airport Revival Festival’. To mark this year’s centenary of the RAF and Cotswold Airport’s original RAF roots, the organisers have launched a major initiative to get 100 aircraft to fly in over the two-day event, to celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

Jo Welch, Head of Events at Cotswold Airport said: ‘This initiative is really exciting. We hope to attract many many different types of aircraft over the two days for everyone to see. We especially are interested in vintage and military schemed aircraft, including helicopters, light aircraft and large and small jets. We are offering free landing for the duration of the event for these aircraft and free parking. Pilots and owners are welcome to camp if they wish to stay for the two days and bring any display materials to tell visitors all about their aircraft.’

Military Links

There will be a dedicated display area where the aircraft will be parked for visitors to see. Each aircraft will be booked in advance so there will be constant movements throughout both days for people to see in the skies above. (As with all aviation activity, this event is weather dependant – many vintage bi-planes, for example, are unable to fly in bad weather conditions.) Cotswold Airport started out life as a MOD base called RAF Kemble 80 years ago, was the first home of the famous Red Arrows. The airport still today has many close military links and continually supports associated charities. This official RAF100 event as part of the Revival Festival is set to be a really powerful and nostalgic way to commemorate this centenary year and give a nod to the airport’s own RAF roots.

Annual Event

Last year saw the inaugural launch of the Cotswold Airport Revival Festival, which started out as an informal fundraising Open Day for 500 people, and ended up as a major event with over 10,000 visitors! Due to the tremendous success of last year’s event, Cotswold Airport has teamed up with Live Promotions Events Ltd, a powerhouse of an organisation that has been putting on famous large-scale events including Truckfest, Pistons & Props and many big-name concerts such as Tom Jones, UB40 and Billy Ocean for over 50 years. The fusion of Cotswold Airport and Live Promotions will bring to the public one of the UK’s most unforgettable events, seeing visitors pouring in from all over the country. The festival is an annual event, that will happen every year during the last weekend in September.


“Live is very much looking forward to working with Cotswold Airport to take the revival event to the next level.” said Tom Siddall, Event Director at Live Promotions Events. “We have so much planned and are currently busy confirming all of the fabulous entertainment for the many expected visitors to enjoy. The fact that we have so many anniversaries to celebrate at this year’s event including the RAF centenary makes the prospect of organising the show so very exciting.”

The event this year will be a two-day event and is set to be an absolutely unforgettable weekend with lots of exciting activities and attractions for all the family. Both days will be packed full of dramatic re-enactments and demonstrations; thrilling vintage air displays; exciting rides and experience flights; hundreds of vintage and military vehicles; full size and miniature steam engines; and plenty of entertainment including period live music.

Star features not to be missed include:

  • A huge display of vintage, military and emergency services vehicles and planes
  • Vintage plane flypasts and fly-in
  • A kids’ play zone with giant inflatable slide, toddler play zone, vintage pedal cars
  • Winston Churchill speeches throughout the weekend
  • A fabulous funfair
  • Wartime re-enactments
  • Simulator experiences
  • Steam traction engines
  • Pleasure flights in light aircraft and helicopters
  • Model aircraft static display
    Boeing 747 pop-up WWI and RAF100 museum
  • Live period music
  • Airport fire crew crash demo of a rescue from a burning aircraft
  • Incredible rescue demonstration by a lifeboat hovercraft
  • Beer tent and food stalls
  • Shopping village snd much much more…

Fundraising Initiatives

2018 is an especially important year for the event as it marks the centenary of the end of WWI and also 100 years of the RAF. These two key anniversaries will be marked at this year’s festival with fundraising initiatives for The Royal British Legion and Flying for Freedom, two charities that support the armed forces and veterans. Cotswold Airport was formerly an RAF maintenance base, and later on was home to the Red Arrows, and there remain many links today with its historic roots.

The aerodrome celebrates two of its own anniversaries this year as well – 80 years of the aerodrome being situated on the site at Kemble; and 15 years of the current owner, Ronan Harvey, an ex-RAF engineer himself, owning the current airport. With all these celebrations and the new partnership of one of the unique venues in the UK with one of the largest events promoters in the UK, this year’s Festival is not to be missed.

Air Displays

Jo Welch, Head of Events & PR at Cotswold Airport said “The Cotswold Airport Revival Festival is set to become one of the biggest destination events in the area, if not the UK. There is no other event of its kind in the Cotswolds, which is why last year attracted thousands of people for just one day. This year is going to be much bigger and better, and we are especially excited to be putting on air displays for the first time – a nod to our old air shows that used to be here at Kemble and our RAF history. 2018 is a year full of anniversaries, so we have lots to celebrate!”


Notes from the Editor


“Our Man”

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  • Royal British Legion Publishes Gender Pay Gap Data


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   Festival of Remembrance

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TRBL’s DG does a Runner

Most of us running the London Marathon are normal people – by that I mean not habitual marathon runners or those who regularly run 50 miles a week!  Most of us will be running for a mix of reasons, partly for a good cause, in my case, of course, it is to support The Royal British Legion. This is a great way to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. By my desk, at home, I have pictures of my grandfather and the ‘Wounded Expeditionary Men of 5th Battalion King’s Liverpool Regiment“ taken in December 1915. I will be thinking of him when I run, though to be honest his idea of racing involved horses in Dublin.


I have visited the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines a number of times recently and have been sharing with everyone how proud I was to meet the King’s Squad at their passing out parade. Those who have served and those who are serving can be inspirational in what they do and how they do it. I was very struck by the way the Commando Medal is awarded by the troop themselves (not the instructors) to the member of their team who best displays the Commando Spirit of Determination, Courage, Unselfishness and Cheerfulness in the face of adversity. Part of me is looking forward to the challenge of the marathon but I think I will need to borrow some that ‘cheerfulness‘ towards the end!


Left:- Charles Byrne TRBL’s Director General

  • of our colleagues are running and fundraising for the Legion in London Marathon 2018: Charles Byrne, Director General; Claire Rowcliffe, Director of Fundraising; Amy Parr, Retail Buyer & Product Developer, and Rachel Hughes, Registered Nurse.
  • 160 dedicated Legion supporters are running and fundraising in the marathon!
  • £311,000 is this year’s fundraising target
  •  If you would like to cheer on your colleagues this weekend, please join us at one of our three cheer stations at Tower Hill, Canary Wharf and Embankment.



Angus to host 20th Arbroath ANZAC ceremony in honour of the fallen

ANZAC ceremony at the Western Cemetry, Arbroath Pic Paul Reid

Poignant thoughts of a figure who founded an organisation celebrating Scots/Kiwi links will be relayed from the opposite side of the world to a sombre weekend service honouring ANZAC servicemen and women.Twenty years on from first staging the commemoration, Arbroath’s Western cemetery will host one of Scotland’s most significant ANZAC ceremonies, at the final resting place of four New Zealand airmen who perished thousands of miles from home.

Ultimate Sacrifice

Sunday morning’s service will feature the heartfelt words of New Zealander Peter Leslie, the founding chairman of the New Zealand Society Scotland, which in partnership with the Arbroath branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland has ensured the ultimate sacrifice of Australian and New Zealand service personnel is remembered as part of a global tribute each spring.


The Angus ANZAC commemoration began in Forfar, but moved to Arbroath when Mr Leslie learned of the graves of his countrymen there. On the north side of the graveyard, the closest part of the cemetery to what is now the RM Condor headquarters of 45 Commando but was firstly a Fleet Air Arm base, are the memorials to the airmen who lost their lives while stationed in Angus. Less than a year after leaving his rural home to be trained for the Fleet Air Arm, Brian Patterson from New Zealand’s North Island died in a plane collision 600 feet above the Angus town. Jim Drake — the third child of a Gallipoli veteran — crashed his Spitfire on a training flight near Barry.


Richard Chettle volunteered for the Royal NZ Air Force in 1940 but also perished in an Angus training exercise, and the final airman buried at Arbroath is Frederick Batten, an experienced flyer who trained in the US before completing a number of operational missions, only to die in a non-operational flight. After a spell in Angus which he remembers with deep affection, Mr Leslie has now returned to his homeland, but in a message to be read to the gathered company this weekend will also pay tribute to Perth’s Ereti Mitchell, president of the NZ Society Scotland, Arbroath Legion and the personnel of 212 Battery Royal Artillery, who will deliver the ANZAC gun salute.

Appalling Losses

Taking the salute will be Angus Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Georgiana Osborne, herself a New Zealander, who has encouraged people from Angus and beyond to participate in the ceremony, which gets under way at 11.30am on Sunday. Anzac commemorations are
 traditionally held on the nearest Sunday to the anniversary of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, when the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps suffered an appalling loss of life after the Turkish landings. Also known as the Dardanelles campaign, the near year-long conflict cost an estimated 100,000 lives, more than 10,000 of those ANZAC personnel.


“Thank You” Initiative details and update

Dear Member,

With Remembrance being led by the Legion since 1921, the commemoration of the end of the First World War in 2018 is going to be one of the most memorable and significant moments in the history of the Legion and the entire nation.

As members, you are the local custodians of Remembrance and we thought you should be the first to hear about our plans to invite the public to take part in a movement to say ‘Thank You’ to all those who served, sacrificed and changed the world during and after the First World War.

During the last 100 days of the centenary, from 8th August to 11th November we want to encourage everyone to thank those who fought, those who returned and those who worked to rebuild the country for future generations and achieved incredible advancements in many areas including medicine, the arts and everyday life.

We have already established partnerships with other organisations to help us deliver this project and we are in conversations with more partners. Through our collaboration with Never Such Innocence, an organisation focused on young people’s education about the First World War, we launched a competition to inspire schools and pupils to compose a poem, a song or other work of art to say Thank You and share a message of Remembrance and hope.

Please visit the Thank You webpage to find out more and watch our film. We will keep you up to date with the latest news about the Thank You movement in the coming months. If you have any questions please contact the Thank You team – 

Thank You Web Page      Thank You mood film, The Royal British Legion


Royal British Legion selects Leagas Delaney for creative account

The Royal British Legion has hired Leagas Delaney as its creative agency of record, with its first brief to launch a campaign to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. The charitable organisation, which provides lifelong support for members of the armed forces and their families, previously worked with Y&R London. The WPP agency did not repitch for the business.

Complex Challenges

Leagas Delaney has been briefed to create “transformational” campaigns for the Legion in 2019 and beyond, to ensure its role is understood and that it has greater “relevancy in the modern world”. Its first task will be to devise a campaign to mark 100 years since the end of the Great War, culminating in Armistice Day on 11 November. It follows a competitive tender run through Creativebrief. Gary Ryan, The Royal British Legion’s director of remembrance and marketing, said: “We have complex challenges at the charity as we continue to modernise, and Leagas Delaney seriously impressed us with how they listened, understood and responded to these challenges.”

Raising the Profile

Last year’s campaign, by Y&R London, encouraged the nation to “Rethink Remembrance”. The ad showed poppies growing in a range of contemporary British locations, including swimming pools, hospital waiting rooms and cafés. Leagas Delaney chief executive Fergus Hay added: “Bringing the essential work that the Royal British Legion do to the fore is important but raising the profile and difficulties the armed forces community face, up into the national consciousness again is paramount.”


Plymouth’s amphibious ships and 1,500 Royal Marines to be saved, according to reports

The Royal Marines and two Devonport-based amphibious landing ships are to be reprieved in the latest defence review, according to a claim in a Sunday newspaper. But six other Royal Navy ships, including three frigates, will be mothballed instead, the Sunday Express claimed. Reports last year alleged that the Marines would be cut by 1,500 troops, and the amphibious assault vessels Albion and Bulwark would be scrapped as part of £20 billion cost-saving measures.

Operational Readiness

However, the Sunday Express quoted “senior sources” as saying that Ministry of Defence (MoD) chiefs have now accepted a new plan, endorsed by Admiral Sir Philip Jones, which promises to deliver the same savings but result in only 450 Royal Marines being axed.The Express claimed, however, that the price for saving the amphibious capability would be the withdrawal of six warships, three of them Type 23 frigates, from frontline service. It said that these Duke class frigates will be put into “operational readiness” awaiting early retirement, while their critical components are stripped and fitted to the new Type 26 frigates replacing them.

Summer deadline

However, an MoD source said that in any review it would have to consider as many options as possible. An MoD spokesperson said: “The Defence Secretary launched the Modernising Defence Programme to strengthen our Armed Forces in the face of intensifying threats. “In a rapidly changing world, our planning must be agile to enable us to counter emerging challenges. We have been clear that we will consult widely as work gets underway and we aim to share headline conclusions by the summer. “We will not comment on any speculation prior to that announcement.”

Fit for Purpose

Luke Pollard, Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said: “This looks like more damaging speculation, which is bad for morale. “If they are looking at an option that scraps more Devonport warships in order to save some ships, that won’t be acceptable. I am getting sick to the back teeth with leaks from the Ministry of Defence. “We need to concentrate on getting the Royal Navy and Royal Marines that are fit for purpose. We need to retain Albion and Bulwark; their capabilities are vital for a 21st Century Navy.”

Cobseo update on NHS Provision Veterans Mental Services

Research indicates that armed forces personnel who served in recent conflicts are no more prone to mental health issues than personnel not deployed to these areas. But it’s completely normal to experience anxiety or depression after traumatic events. This can be tough for veterans to deal with, and the culture of the armed forces can make seeking help for a mental health problem appear difficult. Some people may not experience some of these symptoms until a few years after leaving the armed forces. They may also delay seeking help for a number of reasons, such as thinking that they can cope, fear of criticism or feeling that NHS therapists will not understand. Read more about the symptoms of depression and mental health, and their treatment.

NHS support and treatment

If you think you, or your partner or spouse, may be experiencing mental health difficulties, you can get expert help from the NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) or the NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS).  Both of these services are available across England and are provided by specialists in mental health who have an expert understanding of the armed forces. They will also help to manage your care and support across other organisations. Families and carers can find it hard to cope when their loved ones aren’t well so, where appropriate, help may be provided to them too.

NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS)

This is a dedicated local-community-based service for veterans and those transitioning out of the armed forces with a discharge date. The service provides a range of treatment, from recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing access to early support, to therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma. Where appropriate, help is also provided for other needs that may affect mental health and wellbeing – for example, with housing, finances, employment, social support and reducing alcohol consumption. 

NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS)

This is an enhanced local-community-based service for ex-service personnel who have military-attributable complex mental health problems that have not improved with earlier care and treatment. The service provides intensive care and treatment including, but not limited to, support for substance misuse, physical health, employment, accommodation, relationships and finances, as well as occupational and trauma-focused therapies.

Accessing NHS mental health care for veterans

To access these services, you need to go through NHS Veterans’ Mental Health TILS. This can be done by contacting the service directly, or by asking your GP or a military charity to refer you.

To contact the service directly:

To access these services you must:

  • be a resident of England
  • have served in the UK armed forces for a full day 
  • be registered with a GP practice in England or be willing to register with a GP 
  • be able to provide your military service number or another acceptable form of proof of eligibility

Upon receipt of a referral, patients will be offered an initial face-to-face assessment within 2 weeks and, where appropriate, a first clinical appointment 2 weeks after that.

Register with a GP

It’s important to register with an NHS GP and tell them you have served in the armed forces so, where appropriate, you can access these and other dedicated services for veterans. To ensure you’re getting the best care and treatment as a veteran, read Top tips for veterans – how to get the most from your GP. There are also many charities that provide great services, advice and support for veterans, reservists and family members. Similar services exist in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Further details can be found in our contacts section

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

A small number of individuals suffering from mental health issues may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Long-term clinical research indicates the likelihood of veterans experiencing PTSD is similar to that of the general public, although the causes are likely to be different.

Symptoms can include:

  • being constantly anxious
  • being unable to relax
  • vividly re-experiencing a traumatic event
  • avoiding anything that might trigger distressing memories or feelings
  • becoming socially isolated

PTSD can lead to problems in relationships and at work, including irritability, anger and substance misuse, particularly alcohol. While some symptoms, such as nightmares, are normal in the weeks following a traumatic event, symptoms that last longer than this can indicate a problem. Should this happen to you, it’s important to seek the advice of your GP as soon as possible. If you haven’t already done so, register with a GP, tell them you’ve served and are a veteran, and bring to their attention any health problems relating to your time in the armed forces.

National support services

Contact Cobseo here

There are a wide range of services to support veterans. Check out our veterans contacts page.


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