War veteran from a village near Banbury praised for raising thousands of pounds over many decades

Norman West has been awarded an RBL Gold badge and nominated by the county in the category of ‘Excellence’ for an RBL nation-wide award
Norman West in his service days - and collecting his award.Norman West in his service days - and collecting his award.
Norman West in his service days - and collecting his award.

A war veteran from a village near Banbury has been recognised for 65 years of dedication to the Royal British Legion (RBL).

Norman West has been awarded an RBL Gold badge and nominated by the county in the category of ‘Excellence’ for an RBL nation-wide award.

The 87-year-old of North Aston has been a member of Deddington Branch Royal British Legion (RBL) for 65 years.

Norman West leading the procession.Norman West leading the procession.
Norman West leading the procession.

Norman said: “I never looked for or expected that my support of the Deddington Branch and club would be recognised in this way.

"Nonetheless, I am enormously proud that I should have been singled out for these honours and would like to say a very big thank you to the president, chairman and committee for all their support.”

Norman was a national serviceman in the army from 1952-54 during the Korean War serving in a Sound Locating Company 1 with the 61st Light Battery, Royal Artillery.

He joined the RBL in 1956. He was treasurer to the branch and club from 1975-2001, branch until 2018 and also the Poppy Appeal organiser for most of this time.

Norman has been the branch Standard Bearer and was branch president from 2001 – 2008.

His efforts raised thousands of pounds for the charity every year.

Major David Hood MC, branch president, said: “All Norman’s friends and colleagues will be absolutely delighted to learn of his Gold Badge Award and that he has been nominated as our county’s candidate for the Legion’s outstanding Centenary Member for ‘Excellence’ in support of the Royal British Legion, including raising thousands of pounds every year for the Poppy Appeal."

Commander Rob Forsyth RN (Ret’d) chairman, said: "I became chairman following the untimely deaths of the then chairman and his wife who was secretary.

"This coincided with the difficult decision to close our club premises through lack of use and high maintenance costs. Norman’s unswerving support to me through this stressful time helped save the branch from closure.

"His innate modesty hides a very dedicated and loyal member of our Branch whose recognition of 58 years of unstinting support to the Legion I wholeheartedly applaud.”