From: Brigadier (Retd) I R Liles OBE
Regimental Secretary

Regimental Headquarters,
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers,
H.M. Tower of London
London EC3N 4AB
Telephone: (Civil) 0203-166-6909
(Military) 94631 6909
Facsimile: (Civil) 0203-166-6920
(Military) 94631 6920

I write to clarify the role of the Fusilier Association regarding welfare and benevolence for retired Fusiliers, including those from all of the antecedent Regiments.

The role of the Association is primarily to identify retired Fusiliers who are in need of help. Once this has been done the Association member should carry out the following actions:

  1. Obtain the full name and address of the person with a contact number or email if possible. Find out his service record eg served in the 2nd Battalion from 1980-92, carried out 2 Tours of Northern Ireland.
  2. Give firm advice that the person must contact their nearest RBL or SSAFA outstation. This is necessary because it is the RBL and SSAFA who will develop the case with trained case workers and are able to provide support from other specialist agencies should this be required. SSAFA and RBL always make immediate contact with RHQ and a joint plan of action is agreed upon for each individual. In many cases it is not simply a matter of making Fusilier Aid Funds available but developing a comprehensive plan to get the individual back on track and in employment. Or, providing other support an individual may need due to illness or disability.
  3. Inform RHQ, either directly or through the appropriate AHQ, of the person identified and which Branch of the RBL or SSAFA he has been advised to contact.
  4. In exceptional cases, where immediate action is required to prevent a person being made homeless or to rescue someone from the streets, RHQ can be contacted directly particularly for emergency financial support. The Assistant Regimental Secretary is the point of contact.

To some this may seem a laborious and time consuming system but it is necessary to ensure the Fusilier in need receives the best possible support and to prevent both fraudulent claims (of which there have been several attempts in recent years) and to indentify serial claimants who are simply abusing the system.

The Association should also look at establishing a network of local contacts, many of whom may be retired Fusiliers, who are be willing to employ Fusiliers who have fallen on hard times. A data base is to be kept by each Area Secretary.

I hope this clarifies the system and if any Association Member has ideas about how more might be achieved (within the guidelines given above) then they should contact their nearest AHQ for forward transmission to RHQ. The most important and difficult facet is in fact identifying retired Fusiliers who are genuinely in need. Once this has been achieved a capable system is in place to provide expert help and advice.

Brigadier (Retd) I R Liles
Regimental Secretary