A WHITCHURCH woman has been given a long service medal in recognition of her service to the local branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL).

Rose Mary Snell has been a member of the Whitchurch branch for over 40 years and went on to become a standard bearer.

Rose was awarded Citizen of the Year in 2017 for her services to the legion.

She spent four years in the Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF) and is delighted to be recognised.


Rose said: "I feel very proud. I have been involved with the RBL since 1976.

"I am ex-WRAF. There was a women's section of the Whitchurch branch and I decided to join.

"In the end, I ended up as secretary and standard bearer."

Rose had many highlights during her time in the legion, including being a standard bearer in St Paul's Cathedral in London and meeting singer Vera Lynn.

She said: "She was lovely. She said good morning and asked how I was.

"With the Women's Section, we were in Blackpool and had the parade. Princess Anne stopped and spoke to me as she walked past."

Rose explained the legion opened up in 1981 when it allowed men who had not served in the armed forces to join.

She spoke proudly about how when she was invited to join the committee.

Rose said: "Every month I would go to the men's branch meetings as secretary for the women's branch to liaise over parades.

"Then one night the chairman, Ted Marchant asked if I could join. That made me the first woman in Whitchurch to be invited to join.

"I felt really honoured and I have been on the committee ever since. I have been deputy standard bearer and then I took over."

Rose spoke about the importance the legion has in Whitchurch and across the UK to the present day.

She said: "I think it still holds a very important place.

"It is not just the past wars that the legion deals with. It is the present ones as well.

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"The men and women in the armed forces are everywhere to this day.

"We have a veterans' breakfast, old and new, once a month and we meet up in Bulls Head.

"We have a reduced price and we chat over service."