The Wolverton Express 09 September 1927



On Saturday last, the Castlethorpe branch of the British Legion made it very plain to the public that the Legion’s motto “Service not self”, is not a meaningless phrase. They organized a holiday in the village chiefly for the children and they also extended an invitation to the old age pensioners. It was gratifying to find about a dozen of the latter accept the invitation.

The Bradwell United Prize Band was engaged for the occasion. The proceedings commenced about 1.45 p.m. with the children assembling near the Council School eagerly awaiting the arrival of the band. At 2 o’clock, headed by the band, they marched round the village to the Castle Field where the Sports Committee of the Legion were in readiness for them to commence a programme of sports. A number of the children’s parents and others came along and watched the races with interest. Whilst this was going on outdoors, the Catering Committee with the addition of a number of willing lady helpers were busy in a large barn near by, preparing tea. At about 4 o’clock, the children numbering over 70, took their positions at the tables which had been tastefully laid and decorated with ferns. With them sat the old age pensioners and the spots officials. Whilst tea was in progress Lt.-General Sir Arthur Holland, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., M.P., who is president of the branch, put in an appearance. He was accompanied by his daughter, Miss Mary Holland. When tea was over the Secretary of the branch thanked Sir Arthur on behalf of the members, for his presence and the help he had given them in the past. He added that they were pleased to be able to entertain the children and others that day, and pointed out that their ability to do this was largely due to the keen and energetic way in which the members had worked in connection with the branch stall at the recent county fete at Waddesdon Manor, and the fact that Sir Arthur, by his advise and encouragement at a time when the branch’s future was assailed, was instrumental in prevailing upon some of the members to “stick to it”, which they had done, and that day they found themselves in a better position in every way than before. The Secretary called upon the party to show their appreciation by giving Sir Arthur hearty cheers which, needless to say, they did.

Sir Arthur, in replying, said it was a pleasure to him to join in with such a social gathering as that, especially as the organizers were like himself, ex-Servicemen. He was especially pleased to find that in addition to the children the branch had also as their guests some of the older generation of the village. He considered that the thanks of everybody concerned were due to Mr. J. E. Whiting for placing such facilities at their disposal that day (applause).

The party returned to the field to finish the sports whilst the ladies prepared for a second sitting of between 70 and 80 persons who included many parents of the children and other parishioners. After tea the schoolchildren through the kindness of their headmaster, Mr. H. H. Middleton, entertained the company with a quick sketch entitled “Doctor Kill-em-Quick”, and scenes from “The Midsummer Night Dream”. They also gave four delightful dances. This part of the proceedings came in for special attention. At the conclusion of this Mrs. J. E. Whiting presented prizes to the successful competitors of the various races. Mr. C. W. Harding, the vice-chairman of the branch voiced the best thanks of all to Mr. and Mrs. Whiting for their kindness in placing at the disposal of the Committee practically everything that was needed to make the holiday a success. By this time dancing had commenced on the lawn at Whiting’s residence, but it was only possible to carry on to dusk. It was indeed a very enjoyable day, the weather being ideal. This is the second year the branch has arranged a holiday of this kind and it is hoped to be able to make it an annual event.

The Committee are very grateful to all who helped in any way, especially Mr. Whiting. Few, if any, branches have a better supporter than he, and he has probably done more than any other member for the welfare of the branch. The Sub-Committee responsible for the sports was composed of Messrs. A. Masterman, C. W. Harding, and R. Panter, who were assisted by Messrs. A. Burbidge, J. Cowley, R. Holt, and H. Clarke with assistance of Mesdames Axon, May, Wenlock, Clarke, Evans, Panter, Cowley and Harding. Misses Burbidge, Rawlinson, Holt, and Compton. Other who contributed great help were Mr. H. Middleton who was entirely responsible for the children’s entertainment, Mr. W. G. Clarke, gatekeeper at the dance, Messrs. W. Limbrey, J. Compton, J. May, and F. Stone.

Thanks are also due to Mr. R. Weston for the gift of butter; Miss Gregory, butter and tea; Mr. W. D. Markham, milk; Mrs. Markham senr. Milk; Mr. F. Powell, use of tables, etc.; Trustees of the Wesleyan Chapel, for use of tea urns and forms; the Parochial Church Council, tea urns and spoons; Messrs. J. and B. Gobbey, valuable help in carting.

The Committee appeal for ex-Service men of the parish who have not yet joined the branch to do so and thus help them to help others.