The Royal British Legion, 90 Years of Heroes- James ‘Ginger’ Lacey

November 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A strong supporter of The Royal British Legion I believe that the Poppy Appeal is as important now as it was back in 1921. So forth for each sale which Bath-Knight receives during Monday 7th November to Friday 11th November 2011 a donation from Bath-Knight will be made to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

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Matt Croucher’s 90 Years of Heroes is filled with heroic tales and stories that truly are a pleasure to read, which makes picking a handful to feature here on my blog extremely difficult. So I’ve thought about stories which somehow relate and represent aspects of my own life.

In 1989 I began a new venture and created Bath-Knight. Having never experienced running my own business before it was a period of trepidation. I didn’t know what to expect so quickly realised that I had to learn quick and be as efficiently as possible.

Armed with a good work ethic and ever growing knowledge, 1989 turn out to be a great year, and one which marks the beginning of a business which continues to bring success. With this in mind I decided that I should look into 1989 in the book.

In 90 Years of Heroes 1989 is represented by James ‘Ginger’ Lacey a Royal Air Force pilot whose contributions and achievements were truly heroic.

Known as Ginger, James Lacey was a gifted Yorkshire man who many believe was destined to be pilot. Having become the highest scoring Hurricane pilot during the Battle of Britain and the second top scoring RAF pilot in the Second World War, Ginger was ranked highly amongst his colleagues and the general public alike.

Ginger Lacey

Ginger Lacey pictured

Rising the ranks Ginger began his career as a RAF Reserve in 1937 and was called up as a sergeant pilot on the outbreak of the Second World War, committed to the Battle of France Ginger saw his first bout of success. However, with success came danger as he crashed his own plane nearly drowning.

Cementing his status during the Battle of Britain Ginger was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Flying Medal in 1940 for his work, having shot down 18 German aircrafts whilst been forced to land his own plane nine times.

In 1944 after a spell as an instruction at a specialised operation training unit, Ginger returned to the front line for the final time. As a flight lieutenant he again saw great victory shooting down a Japanese Ki 43 ‘Oscar’.

A phenomenal career Ginger achieved undeniable success scoring a total of ‘28 enemy aircrafts destroyed, five probably and nine damaged’ making him a true hero and credit to the British Armed Forces.

In 1989, as I was staring my flight into the world of business, James ‘Ginger’ Lacey passed away aged 72 leaving behind a legacy of flying. For many, including myself, Ginger’s tale is one of true passion and dedication. He devoted his life to something which he loved –flying- and in doing so made a remarkable impact.

Read more about the Poppy Appeal.

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Rosemary Powell in ‘The Royal British Legion 90 Years of Heroes’

November 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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A strong supporter of The Royal British Legion I believe that the Poppy Appeal is as important now as it was back in 1921. So forth for each sale which Bath-Knight receives during Monday 7th November to Friday 11th November 2011 a donation from Bath-Knight will be made to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

poppy appeal banner

90 Years of Heroes, the book complied by Matt Croucher GC has been described as a ‘fitting tribute’ by Prime Minister David Cameron and I couldn’t agree more.

I was delighted when the book arrived this weekend, filled with beautiful imagery of war heroes past and present the book celebrates 90 heroes who have played important roles within the Armed Forces and The Royal British Legion.

Rosemary Powell 1

Rosemary- First Poppy Appeal

With so many incredible tales I plan on sharing a story from the book every day this week, as a tribute to Remembrance Day right here on my blog.

The story which immediately struck a chord with me was the tale of Rosemary Powell aged 96, the oldest and most loyal poppy seller in the Legion’s history.

Rosemary’s story began back in 1921 at the very first Poppy Appeal. With close connections to the First World War, her own father was a serviceman and fought in Indian Army during the war. Rosemary and her mother were happy to volunteer as poppy sellers in what would become a true tradition for many, many years.

Aged 6 it was on Twickenham Bridge, London that Rosemary started to sell poppies, a symbol of remembrance for all those who had fallen. With astounding support Rosemary recalls how supplies quickly ran out, forcing her mother to buy crepe paper to create more.

Rosemary Powell 02

More recently outside 10 Downing St

Since that day Rosemary has continued to sell poppies and represent the Legion. Her connection with the Forces have also reminded strong as her own husband served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, bringing Rosemary ever closer to the Legion and its purpose.

Rosemary’s story provides an astonishing link with The Poppy Appeal and its history. As she has seen the appeal and its success grow in front of her own eyes.

Personally the story of Rosemary Powell offers tremendous inspiration whilst also triggering many questions which we often forget about. What impact has The Royal British Legion had on Poppy sellers’ lives? And what significance does the Poppy have to them? Furthermore Rosemary is proof that anyone can be a true and valued hero with enough dedication, effort, love and support for a great cause.

Purchase 90 Years of Heroes from the official Poppy Store here.

Poppy Appeal celebrating 90 years- 90 Years of Heroes

October 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Last week the 2011 Poppy Appeal was launched and with an enormous amount of media attention it comes as no surprise that lots of people are purchasing poppies and getting into the spirit of the appeal.

This year is hugely important as The Royal British Legion is celebrating 90 years of the appeal. For many this milestone represents the success of the Legion who has offered sublime support to servicemen and women throughout.

A strong supporter I’ve always taken a particular interest in what the Legion are doing to secure further support. Whilst reading the news I came across ‘90 Years of Heroes’, a book by Matt Croucher GC, which documents the history of The Royal British Legion.

90 years of heroesThe collection of memories and stories represents the Legion’s impacted on service personal throughout its history and is set to capture 90 tremendous years of The Royal British Legion with the help of servicemen and women who have benefited from the organisation (I’ve ordered a copy which will be arriving soon).

I’m highly anticipating the stories of each hero featured. However, there is one particular story which I am specifically looking forward to exploring. Having read about Rosemary Powell in a newspaper article I can’t wait to discover her story in more detail.  

Aged 96 Rosemary is the oldest and longest service volunteer for the Legion. Aged 6 she began selling poppies with her mother in the first ever appeal in 1921. Every year since Rosemary has sold poppies and astonishingly is still selling them today- personally representing the appeal for its entirety.

It’s great to see that Rosemary’s story is featured in the book as she is truly inspirational. It goes without saying that without such generous and heroic supporters The Royal British Legion wouldn’t have been so successful. Rosemary and her tremendous efforts are certainly worth congratulating.

I’ll look forward to reading more stories from 90 Years of Heroes when it arrives in the post, until then I’ll be reading more about the 90th Poppy Appeal online.

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