A LOYAL member of the Royal British Legion has been recognised for his long-standing allegiance with the second highest honour given out by the organisation.

Henry Weeks from Okehampton, aged 95, has had an association with the Royal British Legion since the age of 12 when he was at school in Lustleigh — Henry and fellow pupil Mary Martin kept the village war memorial clean, and put fresh flowers on it.

In recognition for his long-standing loyalty, Henry was presented with a life membership of the legion by Devon county chairman Ralph Howard-Williams. The membership can be awarded to a member who has given at least ten years of meritorious service to the organisation.

Henry was humble in his acceptance of the award: 'It is quite an honour, isn't it? It is a great day, and a wonderful thing to have been awarded.'

Peter Williams, secretary of the Okehampton branch of the RBL, said: 'It really is something to get given this award, and everyone at the branch is very happy to see Henry receive this honour. He is very deserving.'

As a young man, Henry joined the Territorial Army, and served in the second world war in the Devonshire Regiment, including the Normandy campaign of 1944, going on to the Ardennes, Holland and Germany. He later transferred to the Royal Artillery until the end of the war.

After the war, he, along with Brian Williamson and Les Gratton, was a founding member of the Okehampton Royal British Legion Social Club.

Henry served on the branch's committee for many years, served as secretary, and helped to keep the bar well stocked and maintained.

He has also been involved with the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal since 1959. He has received a 30-year service award for his efforts selling poppies.

LEFT:?Henry's son, Brian Weeks, Ralph Howard-Williams, Devon County chairman for the RBL, Ray Rattenbury, chairman of the Okehampton branch of the RBL, Henry Weeks, Col Charles Pyman, president of the Okehampton branch, Kay Weeks, Henry's daughter, and Peter Williams, secretary of the Okehampton branch.