Celebrations planned as Legion marks its centenary year

Celebrations at the Unitarian Hall are planned to mark 100 years of the Royal British Legion in Sidmouth

Celebrations at the Unitarian Hall are planned to mark 100 years of the Royal British Legion in Sidmouth - Credit: Google Maps

This is a special month for Sidmouth’s Royal British legion, which is celebrating 100 years in the town.

To mark the occasion, a celebratory event is being staged at the Unitarian Hall on Saturday July 24, between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available and all are welcome. Entrance is free but a donation to the Legion would be very much appreciated.

There will also be a short service at the Sidmouth War Memorial on the morning of Sunday July 25 at 11am in remembrance of Sidmothian RBL members past and present.

In May of this year, the national Royal British Legion celebrated 100 years of support for those who have served in Her Majesty's forces.

By 1921, three years after the end of the First World War, there were four independent organisations vying with each other to assist veterans returning home with a wide variety of health problems.

Eventually, two high-ranking First World War officers came together to amalgamate the disparate groups into one charity which they named The British Legion.

The two gentlemen were: Earl Douglas Haig KT. GCB. OM.GCOU. KCIE and Frederick Lister CBE.

Their aim was to hold the government to account and ensure all those who served their country were given the support they needed and deserved.

On May 15, 1921, a small group of ex-servicemen walked to the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall, where they laid a wreath uniting the previous organisations into the British Legion. 

Today, the charity continues to respond to the changing needs of the armed forces community.

When Queen Elizabeth was crowned in 1953, one of her first patronages was the British Legion and since then has been recognised as the Royal British Legion.

The Royal British Legion is this country’s largest armed forces charity and to this day provides the help and support needed and deserved and it is at these times that the generous donations of the public in Britain, the Commonwealth and the World are so important.

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