Quick Facts

Established: 1947

Widows: 60+

Coverage: Europe Wide

Contact Details

London Legacy

21a, The Hop Exchange 24 Southwark Street London SE1 1TY England

Phone: +44 (0) 7403 3737

Email: lindsaybirrell@
gmail.com

 

News

News - London Legacy

Lord Montgomery, in conjunction with HE Mike Rann and the South London Military Wives choir to Launch the James Dunsby Appeal at the London Legacy ANZAC Ball on 4th April.


March 2014

London Legacy today announced that it will be launching the James Dunsby Appeal at its upcoming prestigious annual ANZAC Ball.

The Ball, to be held on the evening of 4 April at Australia House will honour the memory of Corporal James Dunsby who was one of three soldiers who tragically died after rigorously competing for selection in the Special Air Services (SAS) in the rugged Brecon Beacons during last summer’s heat wave. James’s widow, Bryher, will be a guest of honour at the Ball, and has been instrumental in planning this year’s event.

James Dunsby was a UK and Australian national and served with the UK Territorial Army, including a tour of Afghanistan in 2008 with Prince Harry.
James Dunsby’s wife, Bryher, is the most recent widow to be taken on by Legacy which still cares for 100,000 families of incapacitated and deceased veterans in 38 countries. We are also pleased to announce that Lord and Lady Montgomery have agreed to be guests of honour, this follows the trend set at last year’s Ball by having Randolph Churchill as our guest of honour.

There is an interesting connection between James Dunsby and Field Marshall Montgomery of Alamein. They both commenced their education in Hobart after their families emigrated from the UK. Field Marshall Montgomery’s father served as Bishop of Tasmania.

His Lordship will speak about his father's collected thoughts of Australian and New Zealand soldiers. So on this special night London Legacy will connect the story of two soldiers who, through coincidence, share a common background of history in their early lives.

Lord and Lady Montgomery will also be joined by the Military Wives South London Choir who will perform at the launch of the James Dunsby Appeal at the London Legacy ANZAC Ball.

Bryher’s sad loss highlights the continuing need for Australians to support Legacy in its mission of caring for the families of incapacitated and deceased veterans here in Europe. The Appeal will raise funds to continue this valuable work.

During the evening, London Legacy will also be leading a service commemorating 100 years since the beginning of World War One, joining HE Mike Rann and Lindsay Birrell conducting this service with be Lord Montgomery, HE Sir Lockwood Smith, High Commissioner for New Zealand to the UK and Lord Hobart, the Earl of Buckinghamshire.

The James Dunsby Appeal can be supported by donating directly to the London Legacy James Dunsby Appeal. For donations in the UK, please apply to lindsaybirrell@gmail.com with your details and TT Money to London Legacy at Santander Bank (sort code 09-01-27, account no 80551126 and including your name and address).

For Australian donations go to www.legacy.com.au/Donate and enter London Legacy James Dunsby Appeal with your donation amount, name and address plus e mail lindsaybirrell@gmail.com with the same details.


London Legacy announces special fund raising discount prices for Barbarians v Australia 2014 tickets.


February 2014

On Saturday 1st November 2014, the World famous Barbarians will kick start the Autumn Internationals at Twickenham with an eagerly anticipated opening match against Australia. And thanks to a special deal, London Legacy is able to offer tickets at a cut price rate with a share of your ticket going to London Legacy.

Our London Legacy early bird match ticket deal offers great seats at Twickenham with two special pricing offers; Cat A tickets for only £41 (normally £65) and Cat B tickets for £31(normally £50). There are also children tickets available for only £15. On top of great savings each ticket sold using the above codes raises £5 for London Legacy.

These special ticket offers are now available by clicking on the link below and using the discount codes of LegacyA for Cat A and LegacyB for Cat B.
The Wallabies have one of the most exciting backlines in world rugby and along with the Barbarians attacking ethos, both teams will look forward to showcasing their skills, guaranteeing some entertaining running rugby on the day.

The All Black legend, Sir John Kirwan, has already agreed to coach the Barbarians and the squad will be full of high profile international stars from around the globe.

He commented "The Baa Baas have a proud history and I will be selecting a team that will respect that. We will look to play the sort of rugby against the Wallabies that encompasses that spirit and we want to win".

Demand for tickets will be high, so get your tickets early! – A great day out at Twickenham and feast of rugby will surely be in store for all.


To buy tickets, go to:Match Tickets

New Australian $1 coin circulated featuring the Centenary of Anzac logo.


February 2014

The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, The Hon. Steven Ciobo MP,recently unveiled a new $1 circulating 2014 coin featuring the Centenary of Anzac logo and
produced by the Royal Australian Mint.

The special commemorative 2014 $1 circulating coin features the official logo of the Anzac Centenary, including the image of an Australian soldier, head bowed and rifle reversed in solemn reflection and the words ‘100 Years of Anzac – The Spirit Lives’. The coin is rimmed with a motif reflecting the sun’s rays as captured on the Australian Army’s Rising Sun badge.

For more information please go to:
Royal Australian Mint

London Legacy announces Legacy ANZAC Ball 2014.


December 2013

London Legacy have announced that the annual Legacy ANZAC Ball is to be held on the 4th of April 2014. The highly anticipated event is being hosted by London Legacy Patron, His Excellency Mike Rann CNZM (Australian High Commissioner to the UK) at Australia House, London.

The Legacy ANZAC Ball 2014 is to be held in the prestigious Grand Ballroom, with its magnificent crystal chandeliers and marble columns, provides an ideal setting for this memorable occasion as we commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the commencement of the 1st World War.

Guests of honour shall be Lord and Lady Montgomery of
Alamein, with his Lordship Offering reminiscences of his Father
Field Marshall Montgomery; and Bryher Dunsby, wife of James Dunsby.

You are invited to apply now for tables at the Ball with prices of tables of 10 at £1,000 or £120 per person.

All Ball proceeds enable London Legacy to continue to care for the
families of incapacitated & deceased Australian & New Zealand veterans.


For more information on the event and how to buy tickets, go to our Upcoming Events page at:Upcoming Events

Victoria, on behalf of the RSL sponsors giant cake for Chelsea Pensioners.


December 2013

The State of Victoria, on behalf of the RSL has sponsored the National Bakery School at London South Bank University to create a 4-foot cake for the Chelsea Pensioners' annual Christmas Cake Ceremony.

London Legacy President Lindsay Birrell attended the recent annual Christmas Cake Ceremony, which started in 1950. The ceremony is a symbol of enduring friendship between the UK and Australia.

For the ceremony, the Australian Returned & Services League (RSL) – the equivalent of the Royal British Legion – each year donates a colossal Christmas cake to the Chelsea Pensioners, with each State of Australia taking it in turns.

For more information please go to:
LondonSE1

Iconic Charity Celebrates a Milestone.


October 2013

Legacy Australia, one of the nation’s most iconic charities, is turning 90.
Founded in the ANZAC tradition of mateship, Legacy looks after the widows, partners and children of Australian Defence Force personnel who have died or been incapacitated as a result of their service.

During our anniversary year we not only want to reflect on what the organisation has done in the past but look forward to the next 90 years and how we can best support the future generation of veterans.
To be officially celebrated on October 13, 2013, events including reunions, dinners and civic receptions have been organised by the 49 Legacy clubs Australia-wide.

Legacy Australia chairman Charles Wright said it was a significant event for an organisation formed out of a promise between two mates in the heat of battle during WW1.

He said losing a partner or parent is a sacrifice endured for a lifetime and Legacy does and will continue to support those families who have paid the ultimate price.

“It is a significant milestone for the Legacy family which was started by veterans for the benefit of widows, partners and children to ensure they get looked after,” Mr Wright said.

“Legacy’s work continues as it always has to offer support to the 100,000 widows and 2000 children currently receiving aid in many ways including financial, emotional and practical help.

“Please contact and support your local club with any function or project they have planned to celebrate this momentous event on or around October 13.”

As Australia confronts the challenges of modern conflict, more and more service personnel are returning home afflicted by not only physical conditions but psychological ones, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can leave them incapable of carrying out a normal, productive life, finding employment or just stepping back in to the family unit.

There has been over 60,000 Australia men and women that have served overseas. All the families of these veterans will be eligible for Legacy’s care and support.

Legacy is not Government funded and relies on donations and volunteers to operate.

Now, more than ever, Legacy needs to strengthen community ties to ensure our promise of enduring care is kept well into the future.


For more information about events organised in your area go to:
Legacy Australia

London Legacy Legatee launches new book on Frenchmans Cap.


October 2013

Simon Kleinig, London Legacy Legatee and Australian writer living in London, has announced his book Frenchmans Cap - Story of a Mountain is soon to be released.

Simon had provided attendees at the London Legacy Annual Reception in June with a preview of the book.

Simon has a passion for the world's wild places and the Tasmanian wilderness in particular. He has written articles for Wild magazine, Tasmania: Forty Degrees South, the National Library of Australia News and the Australian Times in London. Frenchmans Cap–Story of a Mountain is his third book.. Simon very kindly donated a copy of his book to raise funds for London Legacy.

Frenchmans Cap tells the story of Australia’s most majestic mountain and 'one of the world's great wilderness walks' - a must for any modern day adventurer in Tasmania.

Named by convicts in Macquarie Harbour’s infamous prison in the 1820s, Frenchmans Cap has captured the public imagination as an icon of freedom, adventure, and terrifying danger.

From escapee convicts to bushrangers, from pioneer explorers to modern day rock-climbers, his book brings to life the record of many remarkable and life-risking efforts to reach the peak of this mountain.

The book also records the struggle to protect the Frenchmans Cap region from industrial development, even after it became a national park in 1941. It is a joy to read that this jewel of Tasmania has survived degradation from men and bushfires, and is now protected for future generations to enjoy.




London Legacy supports James Dunsby’s Widow.


September 2013

The widow of a soldier who died whilst on a training exercise in Wales has been offered care by London Legacy. Corporal James Dunsby, 31, a reservist with the Royal Yeomanry, was taking part in a demanding exercise in the rugged Brecon Beacons in south Wales on a day of extreme heat.

James worked as an analyst for the Ministry of Defence. He had served as a reservist for eight years, and had completed a tour of Afghanistan.

Although James Dunsby was British, he and his family held strong connections with Australia. James was educated in Tasmania, where he became head prefect at St Virgil’s College in Hobart and later studied at the University of Tasmania. He later served as a non-commissioned officer in the Australian Army. James has extended family living in Tasmania, and despite returning to Britain in recent years had always maintained a strong affinity and close links to the state where he grew up.

The Brecon Beacons are a regular training destination for British forces. On 13 July, James and five other soldiers suffered heat exhaustion whilst completing a gruelling time trial march for selection in the Special Air Services (SAS). This involved marching against the clock from checkpoint to checkpoint, crossing mountainous terrain carrying a rifle and heavy pack. Special forces insiders said candidates often pushed themselves to breaking point in order to qualify for SAS selection.

During the exercise one soldier died in the field and another in hospital the same day. James remained in hospital in a critical condition for a further three weeks, before finally succumbing to his injuries. The three other soldiers admitted to hospital eventually recovered. About 100 soldiers were taking part in the exercise, all carrying heavy packs and weapons. The Ministry of Defence has announced that an inquest in the deaths of the three soldiers is under way.


James Dunsby was a popular man, highly regarded by all who knew him. A statement from his family described him as ‘a dearly loved son, brother and husband. He had the most wonderful ability to endear, enchant and captivate all who he met with his naughty sense of humour and highly intelligent wit.’

According to the Daily Mail, James and HRH Prince Harry served in Afghanistan together in 2008. They shared a close and common bond during their three months together in Helmand Province, where they served as part of a three man crew of an armoured vehicle. A Kensington Palace spokesman confirmed that Prince Harry was aware of Corporal Dunsby’s death.

This year Legacy is celebrating its 90th Anniversary. The charity was formed in the years immediately after World War One by returning veterans who took it upon themselves the duty of looking after the families of their fallen comrades, many of whom had young children to care for.
That sacred trust continued after the Second World War and all subsequent conflicts, and it continues today. Legacy Australia looks after the welfare of 100,000 families in 38 countries around the world. It is a unique charity and has always enjoyed the respect, admiration and support of all Australians.

London Legacy is the 50th club of Legacy Australia and looks after the welfare of families of deceased and incapacitated veterans throughout the UK and Europe. Brigadier Bill Sowry, Head of Defence staff at Australia House and a Trustee of London Legacy, has been in touch with James Dunsby's wife and his brother. Bryher Dunsby is the latest widow to be offered support by London Legacy. Lindsay Birrell, President of London Legacy, has invited Bryher to visit our offices at London Bridge and Australia house.

*Photo courtesy of BBC News.



London Legacy moves into new Office at The Hop Exchange.


July 2013

London Legacy has moved to a new office in the historic Hop Exchange. Situated in close proximity to London Bridge rail and tube lines, The Hop Exchange will be the new location for Legacy administration and for friends, volunteers and widows to have a place to drop in and meet.

Said Lindsay Birrell, President of London Legacy, " This wonderful new venue allows us to continue to provide the fantastic assistance and support for our widows and families, encouraging our volunteers to come in a provide a few hours here and there to perform the necessary tasks to keep Legacy going."

"I would also like to thank the Agent-General for Queensland for the wonderful hospitality provided to London Legacy over the past few years, they have made a big difference to the level of care and support Legacy is able to provide here in Europe" he added.

The new contact details for London Legacy are 21a, The Hop Exchange 24 Southwark Street London SE1 1TY England, phone: +44 (0) 7403 3737.



The Australian High Commission shows its support for the Australian cricket team and London Legacy.


July 2013

On 16 July 2013, His Excellency The Hon Mike Rann, High Commissioner for Australia hosted a reception for the Australian Cricket Team at Australia House. London Legacy was an invited guest and we were warmly welcomed by His Excellency.

The Australian team, although still disappointed with their recent loss to England were in good spirits at a wonderful event, with the players freely mixing with invited dignitaries and guests.

Shane Watson was kind enough to pose with London Legacy mascot Digger Bear and all guests dug deep to buy Legacy pins throughout the evening.

London Legacy would like to thank the Australian High Commission for their support, all those who bought pins (including the players) and wishes the Australian team good luck with the remainder of the Ashes series.



London Legacy Reception gives back to Widows.


June 2013

London Legacy held its annual reception at Australia House, where the focus was on our widows and their families and thanking our wonderful sponsors.

A very successful evening was had with attendees including representatives from the Australian High Commission and Defence personnel, as well as Chelsea Pensioners, Yeoman Warders, Authors and other special guests.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation to Rita Thomson of her late husband Ernie s medals and other war time memorabilia in a mounted frame. As well, Mrs Thompson had previously donated a Sir Russell Drysdale sketch to London Legacy which was prominently displayed.

Margaret Evison provided a presentation of her book Death of a Soldier - A Mother's Story with a very moving speech on her son Mark and her story to write the book. Margaret very kindly donated a book on the evening to London Legacy as well.

Many of our widows were in attendance, enjoying the wonderful surrounds of Australia House. And importantly, the evening was about thanking all the people and organisations that work and contribute to ensuring London Legacy can continue to provide support to our widows and their families throughout the year.



London Legacy raffle tickets selling fast.


May 2013

London Legacy would like to advise that tickets for the ON THE GO raffle are selling fast.

The raffle prize is a 10 day trip to Turkey and Gallipoli for 2 people including flights from London and shall be drawn at the London Legacy Annual reception on June the 13th at Australia House.

Tickets will be available at the Reception, if you are unable to attend the reception and would like to buy some raffle tickets, please contact Legatee President Lindsay Birrell on +44 (0) 7505 145 461 or by email at lindsaybirrell@gmail.com.


For information on Anzac themed tours, go to the On The Go Tours website at: On The Go Tours Website

Margaret Evison to launch her new book at the London Legacy Annual Reception


May 2013

Margaret Evison is a consultant clinical psychologist and a mother who has lost a son. Born in Sydney and now settled in South London, Margaret's son Mark was a Lieutenant in the Welsh Guards serving in Afghanistan when he was shot and died a fee days later back in England.

Margaret decided to write a book which is part tribute, part lament and part analysis of the circumstances of Mark's death and its aftermath.

The very title of this book immediately stirs emotions and for many of us it is a path we would prefer not to follow. But Margaret Evison’s is a book that everyone should read.

An Australian who moved to Britain when in her twenties, Margaret retains close links to her native country through regular visits to family in Melbourne and Sydney. Her son, Mark, carried dual passports and spent some time working as a jackeroo near Hay in New South Wales before serving with the Welsh Guards as a platoon commander. Lt Mark
Evison died from wounds sustained in a firefight in Helmand province, Afghanistan, four years ago.


Death of a Soldier — A Mother’s Story is a book that needed to be written. The war in Afghanistan often seems another world away and we need to be reminded of it occasionally. The politics of war and the arguments for and against it have nothing to do with the dedication and professionalism of the young men and women who serve their country. This book goes beyond the headlines and strips away the veneer to give the reader a sense of what it is really like to be a soldier on active service in Afghanistan, and
just as importantly, the mother of one.

Mercifully, most of us will never have to experience the conflicting human emotions that accompany combat. The closest we ever come to it is through TV news footage and the reports of on-the-spot photojournalists. However, this book comes as close to conveying the atmosphere of soldiers reacting to a combat experience as you are ever likely to read.


Margaret Evison’s spare, elegant writing style captures the very essence of her son’s life.

She tells Mark’s story where it begins — with his birth, then takes us on journey through his childhood, school years and into adulthood and Mark’s enlistment in the army. The circumstances surrounding Mark’s death are revealed through interviews with members of his platoon who were on the spot when he was shot, and the author rightly questions the efficiency of his medical evacuation and asks searching questions about the subsequent coroner’s inquest.

Margaret’s Evison’s book is never prejudiced or bitter; it is shows remarkable poise and balance to the final page, but it also asks important questions that need to be asked — and answered. Above all, this book serves as a tribute to her son and a celebration of a life in full flight with all its hope, potential and optimism captured in a way that many of us,
should we be permitted the privilege of a long life, will never experience.

Margaret Evison will be launching her book at the Annual Legacy Reception at Australia House on Thursday, 13 June 2013 at 6pm. Margaret will have copies of her book available for purchase and signing. For enquiries contact: lindsaybirrell@gmail.com.



2013 ANZAC Ball a resounding success.


April 2013

London Legacy would like to thank all Sponsors, Entertainers and Guests for making this years Legacy ANZAC Ball for 2013 the most successful ever.

250 guests enjoyed fantastic food and entertainment in the grand setting of Australia House's Ballroom.

Said Legatee President Lindsay Birrell, " we are extremely pleased and proud that the Australian and New Zealand community came together in such a magnificent manner. It was the largest ANZAC Ball in recent history, certainly since Legacy have been involved".

All proceeds from the Ball enable London Legacy to continue to care for the families of incapacitated and deceased Australian & New Zealand veterans.

Attendees include representatives from High Commissions, Defence staff, members of the Britain Australia Society, Australian Business, Yeomen Warders and their families and London Legacy amongst others. The evenings special guests were Mr. and Mrs. Randolph Churchill. Mr. Churchill, the great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill provide the Guest of Honour speech.

London Legacy announces the 2013 ANZAC Ball is sold out.


March 2013

London Legacy is proud to announce that the Legacy ANZAC Ball for 2013 is sold out.

The Legacy ANZAC Ball will be held on Friday the 19th of April at Australia House in the elegant surroundings of the Ballroom at Australia House on the Strand in London.

Proceeds from the Ball enable London Legacy to continue to care for the families of incapacitated and deceased Australian & New Zealand veterans.

Don't forget Sutton Veny.


January 2013

Most Australians have never heard of a small village called Sutton Veny, situated in the beautiful Wylye Valley between Salisbury and Bath in England. Its a long way from home and its never been seen as a compelling story for our history classes. Situated about 2 miles from the town of Warminster in Wiltshire, it is near popular British tourists destinations Longleat House and Safari Park and holiday place Centre Parcs.

However, there is a particular reason that Australians should not only thank the people of Sutton Veny, but also spend the time to pay a visit to this small but mighty village.

This village was a concentration area during the 1st World War for units going to and from France. For many Australians, making it through the war was not their only challenge. The great infuenza epidemic if 1918 took many lives, including Australians, who as a result never made it back home.

Sutton Veny is the site of one of many Australian cemetery's spread around the world with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission having a Cemetery beside St Johns Church. There are many Australian soldiers, many victims of the influenza epidemic.


The village takes great care and offers great respect to the ANZAC's, both male and female who were never able to leave. Yes, female, as 2 nurses also lie in the Australian War Cemetery there.

Each Anzac Day the village hosts a commemorative service and the village website contains a wealth of information on ANZAC's and the Cemetery. It also has a picture gallery containing some wonderful postcards and photographs of the period.

The next time you are in the area, or even if you can plan to do so, head over to a beautiful part of England and thank the people of Sutton Veny, as well as pay your respects to those who gave so much for our freedom.
 .

To go to the Sutton Veny website, click on:Sutton Veny Australian War Cemetery

Twickenham grave of ANZAC war hero restored.


January 2013

The London grave of a British general who led Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli has been restored after falling into disrepair.

General Sir William Birdwood, known as Birdy to the ANZAC’s, also led troops in France and Belgium during World War I.

Our very own President Lindsay Birrell was interviewed by the BBC yesterday in a report on a topic that has raised real interest both her in the UK and in Australia.

There was a real need to repair the grave of the World War One English born General, who gave the name ANZAC to our forces.

The Victoria Cross Trust in the UK had been looking for funds to repair his grave at Twickenham Cemetery as it had fallen into disrepair. Even though General Birdwood's grave is a private memorial and the responsibility of his family, the Australian Government made an exception to perform the repair work.

Australia's Department of Veterans' Affairs has been on the job. After Veterans' Affairs contacted the General's grandson, permission was gained to remediate the grave and the repair work was completed this month.


Lindsay Birrell, President of London Legacy, which looks after the families of Australian war veterans, said the grave in Twickenham was important to Australians.

Field Marshall William Riddell Birdwood, 1st Baron of Birdwood was the 1st World War British General who was best remembered as the Commander of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) during the Gallipoli Campaign which began on the 25th April 1915.

Said Lindsay “He had the ability to meld the Aussies and the Kiwis into one fighting force, with the British troops. On one occasion he was patrolling the frontline talking to his men when he was shot at but an Aussie shouted “duck birdie”, saving his life. An officer close by said to the General will I charge that soldier for calling you birdie, the General replied no “give him a bloody medal”.

His nickname of Birdie stuck right through the war.

On the 19th April 2013 just before Anzac Day this year we are holding our annual ANZAC Ball in Australia House at which Randolph Churchill will be our guest of honour . It is fitting that we remember General Birdwood at this time as the whole Gallipoli Campaign started with Churchill suggesting to his Admiral’s the idea.
 .

To see Lindsay's interview and the full BBC report, click on:BBC Birdwood grave report

To read more about Anzac Day in Europe please click here.

For Past News and Photos click here.
     

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