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Report of the Annual General Meeting

The Society's Annual General Meeting was held on 27th April in the splendid setting of the Tower of London. Those attending gained free entry to visit all parts of this Royal Palace from 1300 hours.  Courtesy of the Fusiliers Museum, a large assembly room was provide for the meeting which, in the absence of the President, Lt-Gen Sir Barney White-Spunner, was chaired by Professor Brian Holden Reid, a former chairman of the Society, and now a Vice-President.  Sixty members attended. Business was conducted smoothly and the most important issue - amendments to the Constitution to adjust members' rights in relation to subscriptions paid by PayPal - was passed without dissent.  As usual, contributors to the Journal received thanks and high praise.

The meeting was followed by a lecture on - appropriately for the centenary - the Battle of the Somme from Professor William Philpott. Eschewing the story of the First Day of that conflict, Professor Philpott took the long view, which was that the battle was one of attrition: grinding down the German Army. A painful and costly process, but one which - and the link was made very obvious - had the important consequence of forcing the Germans to abandon large areas of France in order to withdraw to the Hindenburg Line in the late Winter of the following year. Success was not immediate therefore, but the courage and sacrifice was not in vain because the eventual effect was to force a realisation in the enemy High Command that it could not endure another such offensive on the Western Front.

The prize-giving and reception was once again generously sponsored by HRH the Sultan of Pahang in memory of Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer.  Prizes were presented by the Chairman, Major-General Ashley Truluck - Please see the Prizes and Grants section of this site for details of the Templer and essay competition winners.

The evening was rounded off by an opportunity to attend the Ceremony of the Keys - the formal, nightly, locking up of the Tower of London.  Preceded by a beautifully-delivered and amusing briefing from Yeoman Warder Pryme, the company assembled in slight drizzle on the pathway taken by the Duty Warder and his escort from the Grenadier Guards to witness this ancient, simple, but moving ceremony. 

The 6th Form Essay prize was awarded to Matthew Mallia from Malta here accompanied by the Chairman (Left) and his father (Right).Dr Philip Kerry receives an engraved tumbler on retiring from Council after 6 years running the Essay Competition.

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