Calne business to be awarded shield in memory of son

This Is Wiltshire: Bee Penman, pictured with Stuart King, vice-chairman of Calne Royal British Legion, holding the shield she is donating to the Poppy Appeal Bee Penman, pictured with Stuart King, vice-chairman of Calne Royal British Legion, holding the shield she is donating to the Poppy Appeal

Royal British Legion supporter Bee Penman is to award a silver shield in memory of her late son to the business in Calne that raises the most funds for the Poppy Appeal.

This year the charity has set a national fund-raising target of £42m and the Calne branch of the RBL hopes the shield will encourage people to play their part.

Mrs Penman, of Grierson Close, Calne, donated the shield in memory of her son Rory, who died in February 1997.

Rory, who had just turned 20 when he was killed in a car crash in Chippenham, had signed up for the army the month before and was due to join the Royal Engineers.

He did a lot of work with the Royal British Legion and was also involved with the Wiltshire Army Cadets.

During this time he was chosen as a cadet to the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire and was chosen to visit Camp Argonaut with the Canadian Army.

By joining the Royal Engineers, Rory hoped to follow in the footsteps of his father Ramsey, who was married to Mrs Penman for 16 years. He died six years ago when he was 74 after serving in the Black Watch and then the Royal Artillery.

During the earlier years of her life, Mrs Penman travelled with him when he served in the army and she gave birth to Rory in Hannover, Germany.

Mrs Penman, who joined the British Legion three years ago, said she was going through some old photographs when she found the shield last year and decided to donate it. It was originally used to raise money for the Wiltshire Holiday Fund and now it has been refurbished for the RBL to use.

Mrs Penman said: “I wanted to give it a new life and I thought this would be a good way to bring it back. Since I’ve joined the British Legion I’ve met more friends and its given me a bit more of a purpose in life. Rory was my only son and was very dedicated to the army.”

Vice president of the Calne RBL Stuart Kind said: “We are very happy that the shield is now in place to help promote the poppy appeal to local businesses.”

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