Worksop: Growth of Foresters Association branch in the town is a real success story

Members of the Worksop branch of the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment Association.
Members of the Worksop branch of the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment Association.
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The Worksop branch of a military regiment association is enjoying a new lease of life after surge in membership.

The town’s Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment Association gives ex-members a place to meet and enjoy the comradeship that they would have experienced with military life.

And the Worksop branch has recently been re-born and now has around 20 regular attendees at bi-monthly meetings.

“The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters is the longest regiment name in the British Army,” said Brigadier Edward Wilkinson, the Worksop branch’s vice-president.

“It’s tremendous to see the Worksop branch doing well again.”

“We found we had sufficient numbers in and around the Worksop area who enjoyed getting together to develop the town branch again and we now have around 20 regular members.”

“At one stage, the branch was down to just one or two members but our secretary has worked really hard and done a tremendous job to get people together and it has grown from there.”

“Everyone involved on the committee has done extremely well and it’s a delight to see their hard work paying off.”

The regiment goes back to 1970 when, at Battlesbury Barracks at Warminster in Wiltshire, the 1st Battalion The Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derbyshire Regiment) amalgamated with 1st Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment to form

1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th Foot).

In addition, The Mercian Regiment was formed on 1st September 2007 at Tamworth Castle in the presence of The Colonel in Chief, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

The Mercian Regiment is comprised of former county regiments and their past antecedent regiments. The Mercian was formed from the Cheshire, Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters, Staffordshire and West Midlands & Kings Cheshire Regiments.

Every year, on the first Sunday in July, serving and ex-members of the Regiment, (now including the Mercian regiment), make a pilgrimage to Crich to the memorial of the Sherwood Foresters.

“It’s very important that we continue to be there as an association for ex-members of the Regiment and hopefully, we will get a few more coming down to join us at Worksop,” said Brigadier Wilkinson.

“Apart from the meetings, the lads regularly meet up for social events and other activities, such as trips out and some of the lads regularly go mountain biking and hill walking together. We are quite a young-ish branch, with an average age of about 50,” added branch secretary Mark Butcher.

Anyone interested in joining the Worksop branch of the Association should email the secretary wfraworksop@sky.com

It is also hoped that the success of the Foresters’ Association’s Worksop branch will encourage others to support the campaign to keep the Worksop Branch of the Royal British Legion open, a campaign the Guardian is also supporting.