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 28th March, 2018
With the kind permission of The Worshipful, The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Stuart Davis, Solihull Branch of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, held their Annual General Meeting in Solihull Civic Suites Council Chamber on Wednesday 28th March. The meeting was chaired by Solihull Branch President, HM Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree OBE. AGM guest speakers were from the Royal British Legion, Jane Britton, Area Mnager West Midlands and Marc Carter, who gave a very interesting talk about the TRBL Outreach programme. Wing Commander Kirsty Bushell, SSAFA National Vice-Chair 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 2018
Crufts International Dog Show from the 8th to 11th 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!
Annual Flag Day Solihull Saturday 28 July 2018
The SSAFA Stand in Mel Square for the Annual Flag Day. Wind and bad weather did not stop us
Remembering Solihull's Soldiers
Touchwood to mark Armistice Anniversary with Poignant Memerorial
Touchwood is introducing a special installation of 6ft statues of soldiers to commemorate the lives of local troops who have died in battle.
The silhouette soldiers will be unveiled in centre from 1st November in the lead up to Armistice Day, to remember the heroes of Solihull who lost their lives during the First World War.
Touchwood is also creating a commemorative plaque which will be engraved with the names of local fallen soldiers and is asking for friends and family of fallen troops to put the names of their loved ones forward for inclusion.
The unveiling is in support of the charity Remembered’s There But Not There campaign which aims to commemorate fallen soldiers, educate, today’s younger generation, and help heal those suffering from the hidden wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder and other lasting legacies of combat. Funds raised through sales of Tommy figures are provided to special force charities such as Help for Heroes, The Royal Foundation and Project Equinox: Housing Veterans.
Lucy Burnett, Marketing Manager at Touchwood comments: “The Tommies provide a special place for residents to remember the town’s brave heroes. We would like to encourage anyone with Solihull-born relatives or friends who served in the WW1 to send us their name to be included on our commemorative community plaque.”
To feature on the memorial plaque, local residents are being asked to nominate service men and women from the Borough of Solihull, who lost their lives during the First World War. All names are to be emailed to Tillie Gilbert at email@example.com by Friday 21st September.