We are raising £200,000 to help save the Artists Rifles Clubhouse, which has helped hundreds of veterans. These funds are urgently required to pay for the cost of 5 years of litigation with the National Rifle Association.
The cost of a 5 year torturous legal battle with the UK National Rifle Association (NRA) to save the historic Artists Rifles Clubhouse has left the clubhouse steeped in debt, which now jeopardises its future. If you care about our veterans please read on.
The end of this expensive litigation is now firmly in sight. However, the Artists Rifles Clubhouse will only be saved and its future secured provided they have the funds to see it through and pay off the substantial debts incurred during this prolonged legal battle.
The famous Artists Rifles regiment, which was formed in 1860 were the most highly decorated regiment in WWI winning numerous battle honours including 8 VCs. The Artists Rifles Clubhouse was built in 1926 at a cost of £2,200 and paid for not by the War Department but by members of the Artists Rifles regiment. The clubhouse became the property of 21 SAS in 1947 when the Artists Rifles regiment was amalgamated into the SAS regiment. It was used by the SAS for training purposes and social functions and was greatly appreciated by members of the regiment. In 1967, much to the disappointment of the serving members, the MOD sold the clubhouse and it went into private ownership. In 2003 the clubhouse came up for sale in a derelict condition. Despite much enthusiasm from regimental members for the clubhouse to be acquired by the regiment, the MOD couldn’t justify the cost of the acquisition and running costs with year on year cuts imposed on the military. It, therefore, fell on a group of former members of the regiment to fund the acquisition of what was regarded as the last bastion of the Artists Rifles regiment.
Since 2003 the Artists Rifles Clubhouse has supported hundreds of veterans, some of whom have suffered horrific physical and mental injuries. It has provided them with a safe haven and through the laying on of social and shooting events has helped them to feel a part of a military family and respected again. The clubhouse brings great happiness to soldiers and alike, and their families and friends, who have made tremendous sacrifices for the benefit of us all and who deserve to be honoured and looked after by all of us.
It is a sad fact that our country does not have the resources to help all of our veterans and relies heavily on charities and on organisations such as the Artists Rifles Clubhouse to help look after them. If the costs of the litigation cannot be met then the future of this special resource is at immediate risk. I wholeheartedly support this appeal and I would be personally grateful for any donation you are able to make to this most worthwhile cause and in doing so you will be supporting our veterans. Thank you.
Colonel Tim Collins OBE
The Telegraph article by Dominic Nicholls: