Service for Royal British Legion’s 100th birthday

REPRESENTATIVES of different branches of the armed services in Jersey will take part in a brief ceremony tomorrow morning at the cenotaph in the Parade to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion.

Keith Sunter. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON (30830835)
Keith Sunter. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON (30830835)

The event is part of a commemoration taking place among branches of the Legion across the globe and will recreate a wreath-laying ceremony in Whitehall on 15 May 1921, when four armed-services organisations from the Great War merged to create a single body to help ex-servicemen.

As Big Ben struck nine that morning, four men representing societies that had been rivals since Armistice Day 1918 laid a wreath at the base of the memorial. It carried the badges of the four organisations that would officially amalgamate to form the British Legion.

By Christmas 1921, the ranks of the group had swelled to include 2,500 branches across the country, as well as overseas, which were to fundraise for the annual Poppy Appeal and provide welfare for those who had served their country.

The welfare chairman of the Jersey branch of the RBL, Keith Sunter, said that the Legion was proud to have maintained 2,500 branches, some with a history reaching back to 1921 and others established in the past decade.

He explained that the ceremony of 15 May 1921, to be recreated in Jersey as at other branches, would comprise the traditional elements of the epitaph, last post, reveille and wreath laying associated with Remembrance Sunday. The RBL is also encouraging representatives from the branches to mark the occasion by laying wreaths at local war memorials.

‘This event marks 100 years of the RBL’s commitment to do what it continues to do for ex-service personnel. I think there are as many people as ever who still need the help of the Legion today,’ Mr Sunter said.

Participants in Saturday’s ceremony in St Helier, who will include the Legion’s Jersey president, Colonel Charles Woodrow, will be in position by 8.45am and the ceremony will conclude by 9.15am.

Top Stories

More From The Jersey Evening Post

UK & International News