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Legion announces new National President

Posted: Oct 15, 2012
Category: General
Posted by: Admin


Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson CB CVO, who has links with a number of Service charities following a career as a Royal Navy submariner and former Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel), has agreed to take the helm as National President of The Royal British Legion.

The National President is the figurehead of the nation's leading Armed Forces charity, linking with its patron Her Majesty the Queen and serving as its representative at national ceremonial events such as the Festival of Remembrance and the Cenotaph.

The unpaid honorary position is appointed by the Legion's Board of Trustees for a period of three years.

Admiral Wilkinson's appointment was approved by the Board of Trustees on 6 September 2012. He takes up his position today, succeeding Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely who resigned on Monday. Sir John's predecessor was Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen, and the appointment of a Royal Navy veteran continues the Legion tradition of rotating the senior role among the three Services which it represents.

Admiral Wilkinson said: "I am delighted to be taking up this role with The Royal British Legion at a time when it is reaching an ever greater number of Armed Forces families with a growing range of welfare support, and when it is consolidating its historic gains in having the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant enshrined in law.

"I look forward to taking up my duties at the start of what I hope will be another record-breaking Poppy Appeal which will raise much-needed funds for its support services, and at a time when Remembrance observations are drawing ever growing numbers to mark the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces."

From Leytonstone, Essex, Admiral Wilkinson joined Britannia Royal Naval College as a University Cadet. After passing out of Dartmouth he followed a Cold War career through Diesel, Polaris and Hunter-Killer submarines.

He commanded HM Submarines Otter, Superb and Vanguard before moving to dry land with the Nuclear Policy Directorate in the MOD and then as the Captain of the Second Submarine Squadron based in Devonport. As a Commodore he was appointed to the staff of the Second Sea Lord as Director of Naval Service Conditions.

Promoted to the Flag List in 2004 he was made Naval Secretary, responsible for the career management of 40,000 Naval Service personnel. He was then made Defence Services Secretary before a final three years in the MOD as the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Personnel).

Retiring in October 2010, he is Chairman of the maritime charity Seafarers UK, Vice Chairman of the Forces Pension Society, Vice President of Combat Stress, and Patron of 'Soldier On' and the Loch Class Frigates Association. He is Trustee of the Armed Forces Memorial located at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, part of The Royal British Legion family of charities.

For further media information, please contact:
Bethan Herbert, PR Officer, The Royal British Legion
T: 020 3207 2237 M: 07780 955 544 E: bherbert@britishlegion.org.uk