Quick Facts

Established: 1947

Widows: 60+

Coverage: Europe Wide

Contact Details

London Legacy

Trade & Investment Queensland Australia Centre Cnr Melbourne Place & Strand London WC2B 4LG England

Phone: +44 (0) 797 280 7399

Email: simon.kleinig@


Past News and Photos

News - London Legacy

London Legacy offers condolences to families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

August 2012

London Legacy offers its sincere condolences to the partners and families of Australian soldiers who have lost their lives during two separate incidents in Afghanistan.

The London Legacy family are deeply saddened at the news of five Australian soldiers losing their lives, and like our colleagues in Australia, offer our thoughts and prayers to all partners and families.

Help for Heroes and Rugby UK provide support for London Legacy.

August 2012

Rugby UK through Help for Heroes yesterday showed incredible support for London Legacy with a generous donation.

A presentation of cheques from Rugby UK to Help for Heroes and to Australia, NZ and South Africa representatives yesterday were made at Tedworth House, the Help for Heroes' flagship Recovery Centre.

The funds were raised as part of the Heroes Rugby Challenge event held late last year.

The donation made to London Legacy will be used solely to improve the lives of those widows and families of Australian and New Zealand service personnel in Europe who have either been incapacitated or have passed away.

“London Legacy is very grateful for the support of Help for Heroes and Rugby UK. London Legacy plays an important role in providing administrative, financial and moral support to many widows and families for a variety of reasons and circumstances.” said London Legacy President Legatee Lindsay Birrell,

“The loss of a husband or father is a huge gap in anyone’s life and London Legacy is there to lend a hand if needed. And this wonderful donation enables us to continue to provide this support. We are totally voluntary organisation and this support makes a huge difference, we are very grateful” said Mr Birrell.

For more information on the next Heroes Rugby Challenge, click on the link at:Heroes Rugby Challenge

London Legacy announces twin success for Rutherglen

July 2012

London Legacy is pleased to announce two superb successes for Rutherglen linked supporters of Legacy.

The recent ANZAC GALLIPOLI LEGACY BALL at Australia House in London saw two Rutherglen (Victoria) linked supporters of London Legacy contribute to what was a very successful evening. And since this event, London Legacy is very pleased to announce outstanding success for both supporters, bringing Rutherglen to the fore of sporting and wine success.

During the Ball, attendees were enthralled to view an exclusive DVD of Andrew Hoy OAM riding his horse Rutherglen in preparation for Olympic qualifying. Legatee Andrew Hoy was at the time riding at the famous Kentucky 3 day event in the USA attempting to qualify for what would be his 7th Olympic games representing Australia in Equestrian events.
Andrew has a long track record with his 6 Olympic Games delivering 3 gold and one silver medal. Andrew had dedicated his ride in the upcoming Olympics to Legacy Australia if he qualified. The news this week is that Legacy will be represented at the London Olympics as Andrew has indeed qualified and will be heading to London for his 7th Olympic games.

At the same time Ball attendees were watching Andrew ride Rutherglen, they didn't realise that they were sipping a soon to be famous drink, courtesy of Stanton & Killeen from Rutherglen, Victoria. Wendy Killeen of Stanton & Killeen had sent London Legacy her Classic Rutherglen Muscat to sip as we watched Andrew put his now famous horse through his paces on the big screen.

The rest is history as recently, Stanton & Killeen were honoured when they were awarded two international trophies at the International Wine Challenge for their Classic Rutherglen Muscat . Wendy Killeen said "To take out the trophy for Best Rutherglen Wine and Best International Fortified Muscat is a tribute to our forebears who set up our cellars and instilled in our custodians of the generation, a sense of future, of quality and excellence.

Both Wendy and Andrew are hopeful of attending our ANZAC Ball next year, the Friday before ANZAC DAY, at Australia House London, when we will again sample the world's leading Classic Muscat with the distinctive tastes of molasses, mocha, coffee bean, silky, luscious, complex, well balanced etc., the words dancing out of the mouths of the judges at the prestigious International Wine Challenge in London last month. This eclectic group of professional wine industry personnel were charged with the task of judging more than 12,000 international wines.

Please put this prestigious event in your 2013 diary now and support the work of London Legacy in caring for the families of incapacitated and deceased Veterans living in 38 countries around the world.

London Legacy launches 2013 Turkey Tour with the support of ‘On the Go’

June 2012

London Legacy has announced its 2013 Turkey Tour. The tour shall be run on behalf of London Legacy by On the Go. On the Go are one of the leading ANZAC tour operators in Turkey and they have agreed to provide a sponsored tour to raise funds for Legacy.

The tour, known as the Gallipoli Uncovered tour, is an exciting 7 day tour of Turkey offered exclusively to Legacy Members worldwide.

The tour will be conducted from the 7th to the 13th of April 2013 and shall be led by London Legacy Legatee President Lindsay Birrell.

Moderately paced, the tour will spend time in Ottoman Istanbul before sightseeing and exploring ANZAC Cove and the many battlefields and memorials that dot the region.

The tour includes an English speaking Turkish tour guide with specialist knowledge of the region and offers 4 star hotel accommodation, guided sightseeing, all transfers tour transportation, many meals and a few unique experiences along the way (airfare not included). Tour proceeds will include a contribution to Legacy.

If you are interested in joining the tour, you can email Lindsay Birrell at

For more information on the Gallipoli Uncovered tour or to book the tour, click on the link at:On the Go Tours - Gallipoli Uncovered tour

Reception for Mongol Rally Legacy Fundraisers

June 2012

London Legacy is hosting a reception for a team of Aussies and Kiwis who have set themselves the goal of raising $20,000 for Legacy by competing in the Mongol Rally.

The reception will be held in Queensland House, London at 6.30pm to 8.30pm on the 12th of July. London Legacy intends to provide the team with a rousing send off before they depart on their journey.

Calling themselves the ‘trekking in tweed’ team, they describe themselves as a team of young antipodean thrusters who have an unhealthy fascination with all things related to tweed, tea and adventure. They are competing in the Mongol Rally 2012, a motor-vehicle rally organised by a group of eccentric young Britons who call themselves “The Adventurists”. The premise of this rally is to drive a highly unsuitable car, in the name of charity, from London, UK, to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (approximately 10,000 Miles, dependant on the particular route taken).

And by “highly unsuitable car”, they mean something with an engine capacity of less of than 1.2 Litres (think Nissan Micra or Toyota Yaris).

You can donate at the following website and also follow their exploits online at:Trekking in Tweed
Their adventure begins at the Goodwood Festival of Slow on the 14th of July.

If you would like to attend the reception, please contact Lindsay Birrell on +44 (0) 7505 145 461 or at lindsaybirrell@gmail.com.

London Legacy thanks all those who provided their support for 2012 ANZAC Day Appeal

April 2012

London Legacy today issued a general notice of thanks to all its Sponsors, Supporters and Volunteers who have given their time and money towards the 2012 ANZAC Day Appeal in London.

This year a number of events commemorating ANZAC Day were conducted in London including a Dawn Service at Hyde Park Corner followed by a commemorative service at the Cenotaph on Whitehall. London Legacy's Volunteers were at all events selling pins and collecting the donations of the very generous Australian and New Zealand community.

London Legacy had representatives at many other sites throughout Europe, laying wreaths and attending services on ANZAC Day including at Gallipoli (Turkey), Villers-Bretonneux (France), Ypres (Belgium), Sutton Veny (UK) and Harefield (UK).

Said London Legacy President Legatee Lindsay Birrell, “London Legacy is very grateful for the support of all the companies and people that have supported us this ANZAC Day. London Legacy plays an important role in providing administrative, financial and moral support to many widows and families for a variety of reasons and circumstances. The loss of a husband or father is a huge gap in anyone’s life and London Legacy is there to lend a hand if needed. And this appeal enables us to raise valuable funds to enable us to continue to provide this support”.

“We are totally voluntary organisation and rely on the support of Australian and New Zealanders to provide their time, money and expertise in many areas, and for this support we are very grateful” said Mr Birrell.

If you would like to volunteer for Legacy, please contact Lindsay Birrell on 07505145461. Additionally, if you are aware of any families in need of London Legacy assistance, please contact London Legacy.

Legacy calls for support for the Buswell Family to compete in the 2012 BMX World Championships

January 2012

London Legacy, in conjunction with Townsville Legacy is appealing for help to enable our little hero Harrison Buswell get to the 2012 BMX World Championships in the UK.

Harrison’s father, Tim, served in Somalia with 1RAR and tragically died not long after service from a rare disease which they believe he contracted whilst on duty.

Since Tim’s death in 2006 Legacy has been supporting the Buswell family. To ensure the Harrison and his two brothers didn't miss out despite the loss of their Dad, Legacy has financially supported all of the boys school fees, books and uniforms; as well as Harrison's BMX racing pursuits as he is an extremely talented rider.

In 2009 Harrison was ranked 5 in the world for his age group – next year he aims to be No.1! His older brother Taylor is now aiming to join him as he takes on the QLD state championshipswith both boys hoping to compete in the BMX Championships in the UK in May.

The UCI BMX World Championships will have the worlds best riders chasing the right to wear the coveted rainbow stripes for the following 12 months. The event is also the last event in which nations can secure valuable qualification points as they strive to earn their place at the London Olympics in 2012. The event takes place in Birmingham between 24th and 27th May 2012 .

Mum Jody has a lot on her shoulders caring for her boys & ensuring their hopes & aspirations are given their best chance. Jody is doing everything she can to give her sons the opportunity to compete in the upcoming Championships. Legacy is calling for our supporters to get behind the Buswells and donate any spare money they can to help Jody achieve this aim.

Please support the Buswells by making a tax deductible donation today!
Everyday Hero donations

Britain-Australia Society (West Country) launches Tom Roberts Raffle supporting London Legacy

December 2011

Two important copies of paintings by acclaimed Australian artist Tom Roberts are to be raffled by the West Country Branch of the Britain Australia Society.

Chairman Richard Pavitt, a keen supporter of London Legacy, has generously ensured that a sizeable portion of the proceeds will go to London Legacy.

The winning tickets for the two paintings, Lily Sterling (c.1890) and Winter England (c.1920) will be drawn at the Dorset County Museum and at the ANZAC Day Luncheon, Warminster, on the 4th of February 2012 and the 22nd of April 2012 respectively.

Tickets are available at £5 each on the Brit-Oz (West Country) website: Brit-Oz (West Country)

London Legacy launches Gallipoli Uncovered Tour 2012

December 2011

For those not lucky enough to win the raffle, London Legacy, in conjunction with On The Go Tours is conducting tours to Gallipoli over the next four years leading up to the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli.

Titled the Gallipoli Uncovered tour, this is a fully escorted 7 day tour of Turkey (Istanbul, Kilitbahir and Troy) and includes 4 star hotel accommodation, guided sightseeing, all transfers & transportation, many meals and a few unique experiences along the way.

The tour price is £799 per person with the single supplement total price being £948.

The first tour starts on the 10th of April 2012. For further details go to the On The Go Tours website at:
On The Go Tours Website

Caring for the families of deceased Veterans

November 2011

This Remembrance Day we recognise the massive job being done by a trio of Australian organisations to care for the families of deceased veterans. This has been reinforced by the recent tragic deaths of three Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

In light of the deaths and injuries of these servicemen, we reflect on the massive role played by Legacy Australia in conjunction with the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA).

Together, these organisations support 100,000 families of deceased veterans, including thousands of children, living in 38 countries around the world. The passing of the Australian servicemen, in the lead-up to November 11, are a reminder that we need to continue to support these groups and the work that they do.

Legatee Lindsay Birrell, President of London Legacy, has recently returned from the Legacy conference in Port Macquarie where the whole of the Legacy family dedicated themselves to caring for the deceased families of veterans. “London Legacy as the UK branch of Legacy Australia are always looking for ways of funding this continuing care effort” said Mr Birrell who added; “In this regard we have solicited the support of our Legacy family to engage in a number of significant fund raising activities”.

London Legacy will be running tours to Gallipoli over the next four years, leading up to the 100th anniversary of the landing there, on ANZAC Day 2015.

Additionally, tour operators On the Go have kindly offered a raffle prize for two people on their 10 day "Unplugged" Turkey tour.

To read the full London Legacy On The Go Tours brochure, click on the link at:On The Go Tours.

Raffle tickets can be purchased by clicking on the 'Donate now' section on the Legacy website or clicking on the link below.

The amount to donate will be the number of tickets times $6. Please enter this amount. Additionally, please enter the following information in the Comments filed:

'London Legacy Raffle Tickets - X tickets' where x is the number of tickets you require. We will then mail you your tickets.

To apply for a book of tickets to sell on behalf of London Legacy, or for more information, send an email to

To buy a raffle ticket simply donate by clicking on: Donate Online

Another key fundraiser for the charity is the TNT ANZAC Gallipoli Legacy Ball, to be next held on April 20, 2012 at Australia House. Tickets can be purchased at www.tntmagazine.com

Please support our work. If any Australians, particularly those whose family fought for the ADF, are interested in volunteering for London Legacy please contact Lindsay on 07505 145 461.

‘On the Go’ agrees to again donate Turkey Tour for London Legacy raffle 2012

October 2011

On The Go Tours, one of the leading ANZAC Day operators in Turkey has again ageed to donate a sensational prize of a 10 day tour to Turkey for the 2011 London Legacy raffle.

The prize, an “On the go” Turkey Unplugged 10 day tour includes all air fares from London for 2 people and is worth £1,700.

This wonderful prize shall be drawn on the 14th of June 2012 at the London Legacy Annual Reception to be held in the Downer Room of Australia House.

One The Go Tours sponsored the 2011 London Legacy raffle and have provided outstanding support to London Legacy, particulalry as all proceeds of the raffle will go to London Legacy to continue the work of supporting the families of deceased service personnel.

Tickets will be available in the next month from London Legacy.

If you would like to buy raffle tickets; or sell them on behalf of London Legacy (books of 10 are available), please send a request email to
londonlegacy67@aol.com. To read the full London Legacy On The Go Tours brochure, click on the link at: On The Go Tours

If you would like to make a donation to London Legacy, please go to our donations page by clicking on Donate now to the top left of this page; or simply click on: Donate Online

Hazel Crockett celebrates her 100th birthday

August 2011

Hazel Crockett, the widow of Daylesford born Australian John Crocket has just celebrated her 100th birthday. And she did it in style, befitting the occasion. One hundred and twenty family and friends, including 22 children, joined Hazel at Milford-on-Sea for a special birthday party. A number of family and friends even made the long journey from Australia just to spend the day with Hazel.

Hazel received birthday greetings from some very important people including Her Majesty The Queen, the Princess Royal and British Prime Minister David Cameron. The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, sent Hazel a birthday greeting, and best wishes also were received from the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce. The Presidents of Rotary International and Save the Children completed a long list of well wishers.

The President of London Legacy, Lindsay Birrell, read out a special birthday message from The Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency John Dauth AO LVO. President Lindsay also explained that Hazel remains the oldest Legacy widow living outside of Australia.

Hazel Crockett (nee Grant) was born in 1911at Bendigo in north-west Victoria. Hazel’s late husband, John Crockett, was born in Daylesford and served as a navigator on Sunderland Flying Boats with 228 Squadron, based at Pembroke Dock in south-west Wales during the Second World War.

London Legacy Annual Reception held at Australia House a huge succes

June 2011

The London Legacy Annual Reception was held on the 15th of June at Australia House. Many Australian dignitaries were in attendance, with His Excellency Mr John Dauth LVO, High Commissioner for Australia to the United Kingdom again attending this year.

Many supporters of London Legacy as well as Legatees and Widows were also in attendance and enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of the magnificent Australia House.

The London Legacy raffle was also drawn with On The Go, one of the leading ANZAC Day operators in Turkey donating a sensational prize of a 10 day tour to Turkey for the 2011 London Legacy raffle, worth £1,700 to the lucky winners.

All proceeds of the raffle have gone to London Legacy to continue the work of supporting the families of deceased service personnel.

London Legacy would like to thank all those who supported the event.

TOP PHOTO: Lucky raffle winners.
BOTTOM PHOTO: Lindsay Birrell receiving an award from the HMAS Sydney Veterans Association.

London Legacy Legatee President meets Australian Governor-General

April 2011

London Legacy Legatee President Lindsay Birrell recently met the Australian Governor-General invested the Australian High Commissioner, Mr John Dauth AO LVO as an Officer of the Order of Australia at a function at the High Commissioner's residence, Stoke Lodge.

Ms Bryce also invested Col. John Hutcheson, AM, who is currently serving as the Defence Advisor (Army) at the High Commission. The investiture ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard MP, who joined Mr Dauth, his family and friends for the celebrations.

PHOTO: Lindsay and partner Jenny meet the Governor-General.

2011 TNT ANZAC Gallipoli Legacy Ball a huge success

April 2011

The first TNT ANZAC GALLIPOLI LEGACY BALL ever to he held in the Ball Room at Australia House in the Strand London was held on the 15th April 2011 and proved a spectacular success. The Ball was the first in a series of Balls over the next 5 years to be held in the prestigous Australia House Ball Room until 2015. Interestingly, 2015 is the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day, the landing at Gallipoli and shortly after the foundation of Legacy Australia.

The event featured a Kier Royale Reception, 2 course dinner, 9pm ANZAC Service with the last post, music, dancing, and an auction of specially donated prizes.

Whilst everyone had a fantastic evening, the event was a wonderful Charity night supporting the work of London Legacy who in turn support the Australian Flood, Fire and the Christchurch Earthquake Appeals.

London Legacy would like to thank all those who worked tirelessly to make the Ball such a success.

RIGHT PHOTO: Legatee President Lindsay Birrell with Tom, Meagan and Linda Kay, one of the families that London Legacy provide support for.

TOP PHOTO: Lindsay and Jenny with guests including Legatee Andrew Hoy at right.

‘On the Go’ donates Turkey Tour for London Legacy raffle

April 2011

On The Go, one of the leading ANZAC Day operators in Turkey has donated a sensational prize of a 10 day tour to Turkey for the 2011 London Legacy raffle.
The prize, an “On the go” Turkey Unplugged 10 day tour includes all air fares for 2 people and is worth £1,700.

This wonderful prize shall be drawn on the 15th of June at the London Legacy Annual Reception to be held in the Downer Room of Australia House, hosted by the Australian High Commissioner The Honourable John Dauth LVO.

All proceeds of the raffle will go to London Legacy to continue the work of supporting the families of deceased service personnel.

Those wanting to buy a ticket for this fabulous trip may send in their name and address to London Legacy plus a cheque @£5 per ticket – please list the number of tickets you require.

If you would like to sell raffle tickets (books of 10 are available) on behalf of London Legacy, please send a request email to londonlegacy67@aol.com.
If you would like to make a donation to London Legacy, please go to our donations page by clicking on Donate now to the top left of this page; or simply click on: Donate Online

Australian Times supports London Legacy in 'Lend Legacy a hand this ANZAC Day' article

March 2011

The London based Australian Times last week published an article asking Australians in London to find the time to lend London Legacy a hand this upcoming ANZAC Day.

The Australian Times article asks are you able to lend a hand in the lead up to ANZAC Day on April 25? "Legacy is a volunteer organisation dedicated to caring for the families of deceased veterans. The London branch cares for Australian war widows in 37 countries. They are seeking the support of volunteers to help sell pins on Anzac Day."

Legacy is also looking for volunteers who understand its aims to help staff their office for a few hours each month and to assist in other matters.

“We always need extra help from Australians living in London,” said President Lindsay Birrell. “Maybe just one day a month helping in our office at Queensland House, or selling pins for us on ANZAC Day this year.”

If you can help please contact President Lindsay Birrell at

The full article can be read at
Australian Times

Michelin Star chef pips London Legacy’s Vicki Genrich for Australian Woman of the Year in the UK

March 2011

Qantas and Australian Business last night announced the winner of the Qantas Australian Woman of the Year in UK 2011 as Skye Gyngell, Michelin Star award winning Head Chef at Petersham Nurseries and acclaimed cookery writer.

Nominees and over 150 guests gathered at the Langham, London last night for a very special award reception to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and to recognise the many great achievements of Australian women in the UK. The annual award is open to Australian women from all walks of life including business, the arts, science, community, government, research and other industries.

The star studded short-list of nominees included Bronwyn Curtis, Head of HSBC Global Research; internationally acclaimed and celebrated author, Nikki Gemmell; Chief Executive of the English National Opera, Loretta Tomasi; and the British Museum's principal specialist for Australia and Oceania, Lissant Bolton as well as London Legacy’s very own Vicki Genrich.

Award winner Skye Gyngell has received international recognition for her work at Petersham Nurseries. Her philosophy to serve simple, sustainable and seasonal produce has won Skye a strong following and recently in its 100th award season the Michelin Guild recognised Skye’s cooking by awarding her restaurant a star. She is the first Australian woman to receive this honour.

Of winning the Qantas Australian Woman of the Year in the UK Award, Skye said: “I’m truly very honoured to be given this award and to have been considered alongside such other great Australian women. I have built my career and life here in the UK but I love Australia and its special to be recognised by fellow Australians for the work achieved here.”

Vicki Genrich is the London Legacy Honorary Treasurer as well as being a Legatee. Vicki ‘s valuable time and skills help London Legacy to support many families of deceased Australian and New Zealand service personnel. Although Vicki did not walk away with the award, we at Legacy and all the Legacy families know Vicki is our winner.

Andrew Hoy OAM joins London Legacy at Legatee

February 2011

Australian Olympic athlete Andrew Hoy has volunteered to help Legacy care for the families of deceased veterans. Mr Hoy has a record of three consecutive Team Gold Medals and one Individual Silver Medal from representing Australia in six Olympic Games.

He has expressed his desire to represent Legacy through the 50th Branch of Legacy based in London called London Legacy (UK Reg Charity No 1085603) based at Queensland House.

“Legacy is a trusted and respected organisation doing whatever it can to enhance the lives and opportunities of the families of our deceased Veterans.”

“I am a proud Australian and am thankful for the work of our Veterans and would like to give back to this community in whatever way I can” said Hoy.

Mr Hoy is actively riding and coaching at his home base in the United Kingdom and his goal is to be part of Australia´s Olympic Team for London 2012.

Legacy cares for over 100,000 families of our deceased veterans in 38 countries throughout the world and relies on community support to fulfil its sacred task

Legatee President Lindsay Birrell shares his ‘trip of a lifetime’ with all at Legacy

March 2011

My partner Jenny Dunn and I have just returned from "a trip of a life time".

We recently flew from Gatwick direct to Tromsco in northern Norway. As we approached the airport the Captain announced that it was snowing heavily and we could not land but don't worry we were going to land at Boyd a nearby military airport (which turned out to be a base for watching Russian flights over Norway) already shades of James Bond.

After re-fuelling and chatting to the airport staff about the secret nature of the base, we again took off to return to Tromsco airport which, in the space of 3 hours, had been cleared of feet of snow (UK eat your heart out). The equipment on show once we landed was unbelievable to clear thousands of tons of snow in such a short time.

Once landed we were bussed to the majestic Richard With, the flag ship of the Hurtigraten Line of superb Mail ships which give a 24 hour a day Mail delivery service to all ports on the coast of Norway. Look up Hurtigruten on Google for the full history and detail of their service which started around the 1750'ies when Richard With a local trader started the 24 hour Mail service with one ship.

Well, the service may have started with delivering basic food and equipment to the local isolated coastal towns of Norway but the addition of cabins for tourists to go along for the ride 24 hours a day every day of the year has created the perfect holiday with ever changing action, magnificent views, fabulous food, first class service from a very happy crew. We were allocated our cabins, settled in quickly and joined our B group second session for dinner.

We were amazed at the people of Norway who, without exception, are friendly, efficient and helpful to a fault.

From boarding our plane at Gatwick to siting down to dinner (including 3 hours detour to Bodo) 10 hours had elapsed, of extreme excitement and it was our first day of what was to be the trip of a lifetime.

To give a full-on day by day description of our next 6 days would fill up a short story but to just list the highlights should surfice.
The ship operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year supplying all coastal ports up and down the country calling at all hours. 2am pull into a port, passengers on/off, fork lift truck loading on/off them on our way in 2 hours onto the next port.

On top of the 24 hours schedule delivering goods and services there is a tourist operation loading up all the cabins with people coming along for the ride (some ride)!

There is also a daily programme of visits on land like the Ice Hotel, historic forts, buildings, places such as the North Cape on the 71st parallel on the Arctic Circle temp-22 degrees.

Reindeer trips across the wilderness, snowshoe walks, skiing, snowboarding, our own rented trawler for deep sea fishing, we caught enough fish for a big lunch cooked on the ship only-15 degrees!

What a wonderful trip!

Legacy Represented at Battle of Britain Concert

September 2010

London Legacy and Legacy Australia were represented at the recent 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain concert held at Chartwell, the home of Sir Winston Churchill.

Legatee President Lindsay Birrell from London Legacy and his partner Jenny Dunn, who are volunteers at Chartwell, took part in the which included many attendees dressing up in 1940’s period clothing. Lindsay played the part of Bill Thompson, Churchill's only police detective bodyguard during the War, Jenny was playing the part of a staff secretary at the Cabinet War Room during the war.

Entertainment included the RAF Band playing all the old war time music, a big screen showed many war time film clips, Churchill speeches, and sound bites of the Blitz experience.

A spitfire and a hurricane put on a display over Chartwell and the night ended with fireworks.

A group of Chartwell volunteers and staff working at the event.

Lindsay and Jenny with a 1940's staff car with RAF crew in the background in front of the huge stage with the RAF Band playing to the 5000 people present.

Guests included Dame Vera Lynn and Randolf Churchill, great grandson, who closed the evening with a speech thanking everyone for their presence.

Ron Barassi adds support for London Legacy at Australian Business event

September 2010

Australian Business in London this week is hosting one of their very successful Business After 5pm events, with members and their guests invited to a special Australian Football League themed networking evening. A hugely successful series, the evening on the 9th of September shall have an AFL theme.

The event shall see a message delivered by an AFL London representative who will remember that this month in Australia is Legacy Week. Public support will be announced for the work of London Legacy in the UK who offer care and support for mostly UK ladies who married Australian servicemen and whom receive a war widow’s pension from the Australian Government.

AFL legend Ron Barassi has also added his voice to the support of London Legacy. He has asked to have a personal message passed on saying "I am deeply grateful for the role of Legacy in my life and am proud to endorse the valuable work of this outstanding Australian organisation making a difference here in the UK".

Ron Barassi lost his Father in the war and he and his mother were supported by Legacy in those early difficult years. Ron has been a tireless supporter of Legacy all of his life.
London Legacy shall be present on the evening to receive donations and sell the famous Legacy Pins.

Please make a donation or buy a Legacy Pin.

You can see the 2010 Legacy Appeal Video at: Legacy Appeal Video 2010

London Legacy represented at dedication of Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery

July 2010

London Legacy Legatees were present at the recent dedication of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery. The dedication took place on Monday the 19th of July 2010.

The new Cemetery is the final resting place for 250 Australian and British soldiers who were unearthed from their mass grave in 2009 on the edge of a wood where they were buried by German soldiers in 1916.

The Battle of Fromelles was the costliest in Australian military history. About 1,700 British servicemen and more than 5,500 Australian diggers lost their lives in the two-day battle.

Prince Charles and the relatives of identified soldiers attended the commemorative ceremony, 94 years after the soldiers were killed in the Battle. Work to excavate and identify the soldiers began two years ago, after the bodies were discovered. Of the bodies recovered, 205 have now been identified as belonging to Australian soldiers, three served with the British army and 42 are still classified as unknown.

The Duke of Kent opened the ceremony marking the anniversary of the battle. The Duke, who is president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said the soldiers were "lost no longer... here, at last, in peace". Relatives of those killed during the battle paid tribute to their family members, reading moving extracts from diaries and letters home. The last letter from Thomas Sidney Wharfs, to his wife, dated 18 July 1916, said: "My darling wife I am writing this to be sent to you in case anything happens and I am killed tonight. I have just been ordered to attack tomorrow and I'm taking my company over, in the front line.

During the ceremony, a general service wagon, which had been restored after its use during WWI, carried the last coffin on its poignant journey. Following the Last Post and a one-minute silence, the Prince of Wales and the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, laid the first wreaths.

London Legacy Legatees Simon Kleinig, Vicki Genrich and John Crowe were also present to pay respects to the gallant men who gave their lives in a battle that the Australian War Memorial describes the battle as "the worst 24 hours in Australia's entire history."

Legatees Simon Kleinig, Vicki Genrich and John Crowe at Fromelles.

Australian troops at Fromelles.
HRH The Prince of Wales dedicated the ceremony and said: "I am profoundly humbled by the outstanding bravery of these men who fought so valiantly in the indescribable mud and carnage, many thousands of miles from their families and from their homes."

In the aftermath of the battle, the dead Allied soldiers were buried by their German counterparts where they lay undiscovered until 2008.

President of London Legacy presents special memorial tribute to Roger Sinclair

June 2010

His Excellency Mr John Dauth LVO The High Commission for Australia to the UK & our Patron, Commodore Peter Lockwood head of the Defense Staff & Lindsay Birrell President London Legacy have presented a special memorial tribute to Roger Sinclair for his mother Naomi, whose husband Richard then aged 22, was killed while serving as a fighter pilot on HMAS SYDNEY III during the Korean War in 1951. Naomi was unable to attend due to illness.

The memorial tribute was arranged because Naomi never broke faith with the memory of her husband and was sent by Captain Peter Leavy RAN Captain of HMAS SYDNEY IV. Dick Sinclair served as a fighter Pilot on HMAS SYDNEY III during the Korean War in 1951. He was killed in action. He was buried at sea with full honors.

Naomi has kept faith with the memory of her husband for 59 years, never remarried, and brought up her son Roger, just 14 weeks old when his father was killed. The rest is history, Legacy then London Legacy have supported Naomi and her son all these years and still take a keen interest in her welfare.

You can read Naomi's story at: Naomi Sinclair's Story

London Legacy President delivers Annual Report to Annual Reception at Australia House

June 2010

London legacy President Lindsay Birrell today delivered his anuual message at the London Legacy Annual reception held at Australia House. The text of Lindsays message follows.

His Excellency Mr John Dauth LVO, High Commissioner for Australia to the United Kingdom, and Patron London Legacy, representatives from the New Zealand High Commissioner, Legatee Commodore Lockwood Head Australian Defence Staff, Mrs Lockwood, Agents General, Directors Westpac Bank in the UK, the Directors of TNT Magazine, Mr & Mrs Russel Fielding, Widows, Legatees, distinguished guests, friends all.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this reception to say thanks you to everyone for your continued support for our important work of supporting our Australian and New Zealand war widows living in the UK and now located in 37 countries outside Australia.

Much has happened since last year when our reception was marred by a train strike on the night. Only 40 were able to attend, tonight we have well over 100 so please enjoy your night, get around to meet our biggest ever number of our widows able to attend..

During the evening I will introduce Peter Grose our guest speaker who is the author of the award winning book entitled "An Awkward Truth" The bombing of Darwin 1942, and we will also be raffling dozen boxes of fabulous Australian wines donated by Agents General.

I want to thank His Excellency for being our very active Patron with his hands on advice and help in many ways, including making the presentation to Roger Sinclair on behalf of his mother,(see News Release), Defence staff for their ever ready assistance, in particular Shirley Jones who is our minute secretary and general contact with Australia House and Legatee Andrew Craig, Agent General for Queensland, who via his Government has let us have an office in Queensland House.

I would like to thank our Legatees and Volunteers for all their hard work throughout the year, attending meetings, supporting our widows, manning our office, selling Legacy Pins on ANZAC DAY etc. etc .A special thanks to widow Isobel Tripney who answered my call for help, to come and help in the office. Isobel has worked there for 2 days a week for 4 months!

Also Marius Barnsley, a young Australian in London looking for a job volunteered and has been in our office almost full time since the office opened.

We thank Westpac Bank UK, for their support this year in many ways including providing us with a computer and colour printer for our new office as well as supplying staff members to join our ANZAC DAY team raising funds etc.

A big thanks to the Directors and staff of TNT Magazine for all their help during the year, especially for holding the TNT ANZAC BALL, which was very successful again this year, they are our oldest financial supporter and have held the TNT ANZAC Ball for more than 10 years and we hope they will continue to support us into the future.

Another thank you goes to Mr & Mrs Russel Fielding of ANZAC SPORTS CHALLENGE and The Clapham Grand Hotel for their ongoing support over the last 4 years. We look forward to continuing our association.

Many other thanks are due to a lot of people both here tonight and those who couldn't make it, but they know who they are and we appreciate their continued help year after year, from Australian Business, Australia Day Foundation, Brit/Aus Society, ICANZ, ICAA. CPA Australia NZ High Commission, Australian High Commission, the Australia Shop, Churches, Agents General, Legacy Australia etc. etc.

We are all saddened by the death of some of our widows, the illness of some of our Legatees; we hope they will soon recover. I make special mention of Legatee Mel Quinn, who has had another major operation to remove more of the tumour from his brain. Legatee Mel has to undergo more kimo but he is always in our prayers. Stick with it Mel.

Legatee Liz O’Brien has recovered from a broken ankle, Legatee Max Phillips is still struggling with a bad leg and the shock of a car accident, Legatee Ed Bennett has had a pace maker fitted, Col John Cormack retired, but we all soldier on. We welcome new Legatees to take up the important of attending to our widows needs now expanded to other countries.

Click for pictures of the Reception:
London Legacy Reception 2010 in Pictures

Australian Government supports London Legacy initiative for overseas DVA pension payments

April 2010

From early 2010, Department of Veterans Affairs pension payments can be made directly into overseas bank accounts, a move that makes it so much easier for deserving recipients to access their pension payments.

Previously payments could only be made into Australian bank accounts, which proved a real problem for many elderly pensioners who resided overseas to access their pensions.

London Legacy has been campaigning to change this situation over a number of years. Nearly 2 years ago, London Legacy President Lindsay Birrell approach Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in London about the problem. Mr Rudd, himself a recipient of Legacy support promised to look into the situation, and since then with the help of many parties, the change to overseas payments has been implemented.

London Legacy is grateful to the support that Mr Rudd has provided to make this very important change happen. Said Lindsay Birrell “Mr Rudd was very receptive to my questions at a business lunch in London a couple of years ago, and although he was fairly new in office at the time, took pack our issue to Australia. We are very pleased and thank all the people who have worked to make this change happen, its means a lot to many people” he added.

Overseas DVA pensioners should contact London Legacy if they have not received any correspondence from the DVA advising them of their new payment options.

London Legacy represented at Villers-Bretonneux‏ on ANZAC Day

April 2010

London Legacy was represented at the recent ANZAC Day services held in Villers-Bretonneux. Legatee and Treasurer Vicki Genrich represented London Legacy on what has becoming a very significant event.

Although Gallipoli is always going to be well attended, more and more Australians and New Zealanders are being drawn to the Western Front, where the scale of the war is almost incomprehensible.

The site of the recent ANZAC Day services is very significant for Australians. In the First World War, on 24 April 1918, the small town of Villers-Bretonneux was the site of the world's first battle between two tank forces: three British Mark IVs against three German A7Vs. The Germans took the town, but that night and the next day it was recaptured by 4th and 5th Division of the AIF at a cost of over twelve hundred Australian lives. The people of Villers-Bretonneux remain indebted to Australia for this feat. The town's mayor spoke of the Australian troops on 14 July 1919 when unveiling a memorial in their honour:

"The first inhabitants of Villers-Bretonneux to re-establish themselves in the ruins of what was once a flourishing little town have, by means of donations, shown a desire to thank the valorous Australian Armies, who with the spontaneous enthusiasm and characteristic dash of their race, in a few hours drove out an enemy ten times their number...They offer a memorial tablet, a gift which is but the least expression of their gratitude, compared with the brilliant feat which was accomplished by the sons of Australia...Soldiers of Australia, whose brothers lie here in French soil, be assured that your memory will always be kept alive, and that the burial places of your dead will always be respected and cared for."

The Australian War Memorial in France is located in Villers-Bretonneux and in front of it lie the graves of over 770 Australian soldiers, as well as those of other British Empire soldiers involved in the campaign. The school in Villers-Bretonneux was rebuilt using donations from school children of Victoria, Australia (many of whom had relatives perish in the town's liberation), and above every blackboard is the inscription "N'oublions jamais l'Australie" (Never forget Australia).

Vicki Genrich laid a reef on behalf of London Legacy at the ANZAC Day Dawn Service. Many people have noted that the excellent television coverage of the event back in Australia saw the highlighting of the London Legacy presence. “My father in law tells me that I was on Australian TV and the commentator actually said ‘a wreath being laid for Legacy’” said Vicky.

London Legacy is dedicated to supporting the widows and families of deceased Australian and New Zealand service personnel who reside in Europe and the United Kingdom. London Legacy currently support over 60 widows of Australian and New Zealand service personnel here in the UK and Europe.

Vicki Genrich laying a wreath on behalf of London Legacy at the ANZAC Day Dawn Service.

The Australian cemetery at Villers-Bretonneux.

London Legacy farewells Legatee Steve Martin and welcomes Commodore Peter Lockwood

March 2010

A reception was recently held at in the London Legacy offices at Queensland House on the Strand in London to farewell Legatee Air Commodore Steve Martin and to welcome Commodore Peter Lockwood to the UK.

Steve Martin returns to Australia after serving the Australian people in London as a senior public service figure and as a significant backer and contributor to the recent growth and success of London Legacy.

Legatee President Lindsay Birrell spoke in glowing term of the 3 years of service Steve completed as a Legatee and Trustee. Lindsay referred to the wise council and friendship Steve offered to all Legatees. Steve contributed to the professionalism of London Legacy and its evolution, building an organisation set to fulfil its role in an even more efficient and professional manner.

One of Steve’s final contributions to London Legacy was the advice in his closing remarks made at the London Legacy Annual General Meeting in January; for the organisation to build a stronger support structure for the President, including identifying and appointing two Vice Presidents to share his load.

“It was fitting that we were able to advise Legatee Steve at our reception that in fact Legatee Vicki Genrich and Legatee Mark Daley were to be nominated as Vice Presidents at our forthcoming April meeting” said Lindsay.

A presentation was made to Steve of a framed photo of Steve, Mrs Martin and PA Wendy Tritton taken at Australia House at the occasion held to celebrate 100 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Great Britain. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh attended and Steve and Mrs Martin were presented to Her Majesty.

In response, Steve made complementary remarks about the progress he had seen in London Legacy in his 3 years in London.

Additionally, Commodore Lockwood attended the reception after only arriving in London a few days ago; succeeding Steve as Head of the Defence Staff at Australia House. The attendees provided a warm welcome and Lindsay echoed the thoughts of all in wishing Commodore Lockwood a very successful and enjoyable time in the UK.

Legatee Steve Martin at left, Legatee President Lindsay Birrell with Commodore Lockwood to right.

Legatee Steve Martin and Commodore
Lockwood with the London Legacy team.

2010 ANZAC Sports Challenge to support Legacy in the UK

March 2010

London Legacy’s President Lindsay Birrell announced today that the organisers of the annual ANZAC Sports Challenge have appointed London Legacy as their major charity for this years 6th annual event.

“We are pleased to announce that the ANZAC Sports Challenge has selected London Legacy as their charity of choice to support the work we do here for the widows and families of Australian and New Zealand Defence Force members based throughout Europe, particularly after the death of a spouse or parent during service” said Mr Birrell.

The ANZAC Sports Challenge is the annual sporting challenge between Australians and New Zealanders living in the UK. The event will be held on April 24th, 2010 at Grasshoppers RFC and will feature many flagship antipodean events and organisations including AFL London, Premier Touch Rugby and Easy OE.

The organisors have committed to supporting London Legacy with a cash donation, free tickets and will allow London Legacy to sell traditional Legacy pins throughout the event. “We are extremely pleased and grateful for the ongoing support of the ANZAC Sports Challenge, who have supported London Legacy for a number of years now” said Mr Birrell. “Many people don’t realise the extent of help and support some of their fellow antipodeans need here in the UK and throughout Europe as they get older. We not only help with practical support such as assistance with accommodation, medical, legal and general welfare; but we also lobby the respective governments of Australia and New Zealand for the rights of widows and families living outside of their respective countries” he added. The support we receive from the ANZAC Sports Challenge is extremely important to a voluntary organisation such as London Legacy and to the people that we ourselves support”.

For more information on the ANZAC Sports Challenge 2010, go to www.anzacsportschallenge.com. London Legacy hopes all those attending on the day will keep a lookout for London Legacy volunteers who will have Legacy pins for sale and will also have donation buckets for any spare change.

London Legacy represented at Centenary of Australian Diplomatic Representation in the UK

February 2010

London Legacy’s President Lindsay Birrell was one of a lucky number of people who recently attended the Centenary of Australian Diplomatic Representation in the UK event held at Australia House in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The event saw The Queen attend Australia House on the 19th of February with a large number of Australian and UK dignitaries, hosted by the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Mr John Dauth LVO, who is also the Patron of London Legacy.
The Australian High Commission has now been established in London for 100 years; and is Australia's oldest diplomatic posting, being established in 1910. Australia House is now the longest, continuous diplomatic site in the United Kingdom.

Mr Birrell represented Legacy Australia,, a voluntary organisation of veterans, servicemen and women and other volunteers dedicated to the care of the dependants of Australian Defence Force members based throughout the world in 38 countries.

“It was an extreme privilege and pleasure to represent Legacy Australia at this very special event. I was able to speak to Her Majesty who expressed knowledge of our organisation and commented on our good work” said Mr Birrell. Legacy itself recently celebrated 67 years in Europe and it is our plan to continue our work here. We are extremely grateful for the support of all at Australia House, and look forward to our continued collaboration” he added.

London Legacy will be represented at the ANZAC Day services this year. Please show your support by buying a pin or donating to one of our volunteers in London.

Legatee, President Lindsay Birrell being introduced to Her Majesty by His Excellency John Dauth LVO who is also the Patron of London Legacy.

Legatee Steve Martin (HADS Aus House) and on his right Mrs Martin with Wendy Tritton PA on his left

Australian tackles the London-Paris Cycle Tour to support Legacy

6th July 2009

Recently, Flight Lieutenant Leigh Wrighton-Jones, an Aeronautical Engineer in the Royal Australian Air Force currently studying a Masters Degree at Cranfield University in the UK, undertook one of the great cycle experiences in Europe, cycling from London to Paris from the 2nd to the 4th of July 2009.

Flight Lieutenant Wrighton-Jones took on the challenge with the aim of raising as much money as possible for Legacy, a cause he feels passionate about.

Legacy is a voluntary organisation providing services to Australian families suffering financially and socially after the death of a spouse or parent during or after their defence force service. Legacy currently cares for 120,000 widows and 1,900 children and dependants throughout Australia.

The ride was approximately 300 miles and passed through picturesque Kent countryside in the UK before crossing the Channel and continuing through the small villages and medieval market towns of Northern France, passing the famous battlefields of the Somme and Agincourt.

Flight Lieutenant Wrighton-Jones spent long days in the saddle and some strenuous hill-climbs, and admitted that the sight of the Eiffel Tower was a rewarding if not welcome experience, evoking a real sense of achievement for him, from both a personal point of view as well as the realisation of raising a significant amount of money for Legacy.

Flight Lieutenant Wrighton-Jones raised approximately £1,000, but is seeking further donations and any amount would be greatly appreciated.

To learn how you can support Flight Lieutenant Wrighton-Jones for his ride, contact him directly at

Australia House hosts Annual London Legacy Reception

June 2009

His Excellency the Deputy High Commissioner for Australia Mr Adam McCarthy opened our Annual Reception with apologies from our Patron His Excellency The High Commissioner Mr John Dauth LVO who has supported London Legacy from the beginning of his term in office.

Mr McCarthy told of his association with Legacy in Australia and his willingness to support us wherever he can. He spoke of the wonderful band of widows we assist in the UK and the wider European States and the dedicated work of the Legatees who work totally in a volunteer spirit looking after their group of widows.

The main aim of the Annual Reception is to thank all the people and organisations who support London Legacy financially throughout the year but especially around ANZAC DAY. They are too many to single out but TNT Magazine through their TNT ANZAC BALL must get a special mention this year.

Mr McCarthy then closed his remarks and mixed with all present.

HE Adam McCarthy Deputy High Commission for Australia opening our Annual Reception, Downer Room, Australia House. With President Legatee Lindsay Birrell on left.

Group of Legatees, Widows, friends of London Legacy with Hon Secretary Legatee LIZ O'BRIEN (in the wheelchair) being thanked for organising the Reception.


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