Solihull based ex Battle of Britain Spitfire Pilot dies age 99
Ken Wilkinson, fighter pilot and chartered surveyor died July 31, 2017
Hundreds of people today the 7th September 2017 attended the funeral service of Ken Wilkinson in St Alphege's Church, Solihull. Ken, born on 29th June, 1918, joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve in March 1939 and was soon flying solo in a Tiger Moth. When war was declared in 1939 he joined the RAF and became a Spitfire pilot who flew in the Battle of Britain.
Ken's funeral service today was conducted by The Venerable R J Pentland CB BA MTh RAF, Honorary Chaplain to the Battle of Britain Fighter Association. HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall were represented at the Funeral by Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon, GCB CBE FRAeS and the Chief of the Air Staff was represented by Air Commodore Jeremy Attridge OBE MSc RAF. An officer and men from the RAF Queen's Colour Squadron provided the funeral party pallbearers and after the service a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew over the church in salute to Ken - 'one of the few'.
SSAFA Solihull Branch Annual General Meeting
Solihull Branch held their AGM on Wednesday 22nd March, 2017
With the kind permission of The Worshipful, The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Mike Robinson, Solihull Branch of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, held their Annual General Meeting in Solihull Civic Suites Council Chamber on Wednesday 22nd March. The meeting was chaired by Solihull Branch Vice-President, Squadron Leader Derek Tilford MBE. AGM guest speakers were from the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust; Corinne Day, RNBT Events and Publicity Officer and Dave Gibson, Grant Administrator gave a very interesting talk about the History of the RNBT and the work it does in support of serving and ex-service RN ratings and RM other ranks and their dependants. Christine Cribb, Head of Volunteer Network Support from SSAFA Central Office provided the meeting with News from Central Office and an update on how SSAFA is changing in order to provide the kind of support needed in todays world.
The Invisible Enemy
The Veteran's reality of Loneliness and Isolation
This month, SSAFA is highlighting one area of Veteran’s realities that do not always get acknowledged; Loneliness and isolation - the invisible enemy faced by many veterans every day. With over 41% British Armed Forces veterans surveyed saying they have felt lonely or isolated at some point since leaving the military, and over a quarter admitting to having suicidal thoughts after finishing their military service.
Find out more and donate at www.ssafa.org.uk/fight to help SSAFA reach more veterans who have served this Nation; they have sacrificed a great deal and deserve our support.
SSAFA the Armed Forces charity at Crufts International Dog Show 2017
Crufts International Dog Show from 9th to 12th March at the NEC
As always, Crufts provided Solihull SSAFA with the opportunity to staff the SSAFA stand for one day, leaving the other days to Greater Birmingham, Norton House and West Midlands North. We met lots of friends and fellow SSAFA supporters. Visitors had the opportunity to purchase poppy seeds, tee shirts and our lovely new SSAFA bracelets, or just chat to those on the stand about our work. There was also an opportunity to play our Tombola and unlike the show itself, everyone went away a winner!