A FORMER RAF officer is the new man responsible for the Royal British Legion in Dorset.

Jim France has been appointed as area manager for the Dorset and Hampshire region. Mr France served in the Royal Air Force for 27 years, completing operational tours in the Falklands and the Gulf, enlisting firstly in communications before commissioning as an Air Traffic Control Officer in 1996. He retired as a Squadron Leader in 2006.

Since leaving the RAF he has worked principally in the charity sector. Having spent two years as a Regional Welfare Officer for Combat Stress he moved to Dubai to work as an instructor at the United Arab Emirates Air College. Mr France returned to the UK in 2010 to take on the role of Benevolence Secretary at the Officers’ Association before becoming director of grants at The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

He said: “Given my background, having the opportunity to support the military through this new role was a real attraction. “I’ve worked with civilian charities but when this job became available it was too good to miss.”