‘Legion gave me vital break’ says ex-soldier
AFORMER soldier is urging the community to get behind this year’s Poppy Appeal.
Andrew Langdon, 40, served in the Army for 20 years and had first hand experience of the help the charity offers to veterans and their families.
In 2011, Andrew – a married father-of-one – took medical leave from the army to undergo a major operation. At the same time, his wife Jane was diagnosed with cancer.
Andrew, from Bollington, spent the next year caring for her before hearing about the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Breaks service, which offers much-needed holidays to ex-service and serving personnel and their families.
Andrew and the family enjoyed a week-long holiday to Cornwall in 2013, and on his return he vowed to help the Legion once he left the Army.
A year later, he was made redundant and, true to his word, he joined the RBL.
He has since become a valuable member of the Bollington branch and served as chairman for the last six months.
Andrew, who is also a town councillor and will become Mayor of Bollington next May, said: “The Poppy Break was absolutely fantastic, especially after everything we had been through with my own health problems and my wife’s cancer diagnosis. Thankfully we are both doing okay so I wanted to say thanks to the Legion by joining a branch.
“I’m probably one of the younger chairmen in the Legion and like to feel involved by spreading the word about what the charity does. I honestly didn’t know they offered holidays to families, I always thought the Legion only helped the older generation of veterans. I am very active in signposting veterans and guiding them to help they may not have been aware they were entitled to. I’m very passionate about letting other veterans know about the help the Legion provides.” I talked to my wife Jane and we agreed that I’d support the Royal British Legion when I left the Forces and I’m very proud to do just that.”
Andrew served eight years with the Royal Engineers, including a tour of Northern Ireland. He later transferred to the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) for 12 year, ending as a corporal.
The Poppy Appeal is the RBL’s biggest fundraising campaign and sees the sale of iconic paper poppies to raise vital funds to help the Armed Forces community.
The Bollington Branch launched his year’s Poppy Appeal with a display in the window of Belfield’s Bakery, showcasing the 100th anniversary of the battle of the Somme. Pictured are branch chairman, Cllr Andrew Langdon, Anne Belfield of Belfield’s Bakery, Valerie Thickett (PRO), Deryck Sutton (branch president) and Ruth Watkin (secretary)
Andrew Langdon with his wife Jane and daughter Nia.