Garvagh Royal British Legion tribute to founding members

Pictured at the unveiling are, from left, Gardiner Kane, Councillor Michelle Knight McQuillan, Arther Kane,  Charman Wilson, Dr. John Kerr, David Moore, Laslie Haeney, Group 10 President, Raymond McKeeman and Standard Bearer Group 10. INCR 20-705-CON
Pictured at the unveiling are, from left, Gardiner Kane, Councillor Michelle Knight McQuillan, Arther Kane, Charman Wilson, Dr. John Kerr, David Moore, Laslie Haeney, Group 10 President, Raymond McKeeman and Standard Bearer Group 10. INCR 20-705-CON

A “lasting memorial” has been unveiled to two stalwart members of the Royal British Legion (Garvagh Branch).

Dr Ian Kerr and his wife Maureen were foundation members having met and served through the Second World War with the Royal Army Medical Corp and Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corp.

They served through the Normandy Landings at Gold Beach on June 11, 1944, the Battle of Normandy, Bruges, the Rhine Crossing and Xanten and Lunberg.

After the end of hostilities they returned to Northern Ireland and settled in Garvagh where they became very involved in the welfare of ex-service people, leading to the foundation of the local branch, which was formally established on March 17, 1948.

Both Dr Kerr and Mrs Kerr became widely involved with all forms of ex-service personnel support.

Dr Kerr ultimately held the prestigious positions of President of RBL Group 10, Chairman of Garvagh Branch and then becoming their President, a position which he held until his death in December 2015.

Mrs Kerr was also Area organiser for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association from 1975 to 1990, this in addition to her commitment to the RBL.

The unveiling of the memorial in Garvagh RBL Hall took place during the quarterly meeting of Group 10 on Wednesday, April 26.

The unveiling was performed by Dr Kerr’s two sons, Dr John and Mr Arthur Kerr. The memorial was dedicated by Comrade Rev. Alan Knox (Retd).

Dr John Kerr thanked all those who were involved in having the memorial put together, gathering the information and organising the event. He said it would serve as a lasting memorial to his parents.

He thanked, in particular, Comrade Raymond McKeeman, whom he had liaised with and who had brought the whole event together.

Comrade Keeman thanked the President of Group 10, Comrade Leslie Heaney and chairman, Gardiner Kane for allowing the event to included in the quarterly meeting.

Comrade Kane responded and thanked the ladies of the branch for the excellent supper they provided.