The Taunton Branch was formed in 1948 in the
County Town of Somerset which had been a Garrison Town for
many hundreds of years. Jellalabad Barracks the home of the
Somerset Light Infantry was prominently situated within the
town and there were other military establishments also within
the confines of Taunton and on the outskirts.
The Branch holds a monthly meeting on the last
Wednesday of every month, apart from December, and has always
made welcome, any visiting serving or former Light Infantryman
to their meetings. It is also proud of the fact that it led
the way in introducing a Ladies Section which convenes on
the same evening. The Ladies are either the wives of the male
members or widows of former Light infantrymen.
One of the main functions of the Association
is to help those members who for a variety of reasons have
fallen on hard times, as a result ill health or perhaps financial
difficulty, welfare therefore plays a big part in the business
of a Branch, we in fact are the FIRST AID and can help by
bringing their needs to the notice of the Regimental Secretary,
who may consider that SSAFA or the RBL can assist in the matter.
He in turn will then communicate with those organisations.
Fund raising is another venture that the Taunton
Branch has entered into. In recent years its members have
assisted in collecting in the region of £50,000 on behalf
of the Army Benevolent Fund, The Royal Star & Garter Home,
for sick ex sevicemen and women. St Margaret’s Somerset
Hospice for the terminally ill.
In the mid 1990’s it became the first
Branch to introduce an Associate Membership to add to its
local membership. This section of the Branch was formed for
those former Light Infantrymen, who had no local Branch within
the area in which they resided, or perhaps there employment
was such that it made it difficult for them to attend meetings.
There are now numerous members throughout the Country.
A quarterly newsletter is sent out to all those
who join the Branch as Associate Members, to keep them informed
as to what is happening within the Regiment which has now
become part and parcel of the RIFLES with emphasis on the
3rd. and 5th.Bns. the 6th.TA Bn. detatched Coys. and Cadet
Forces, news on former colleagues and any information which
may be of benefit.
If you would care to join our Associate Membership
a subscription of £3 a year would be payable which covers
the publication and posting of the newsletter. A form giving
details of your former military service etc is also required
to be completed for entry onto the data base held at the Regimental
Office in Taunton. By joining with us you will gain from the
benefit of knowing, that should anything befall you in future
years, you have a line of contact which can put the wheels
in motion to obtain the help or assistance that you might
For more information please E-Mail
me or Phone me on 01823 279109
Regards – Lawrie Hodges