Aldbury Branch was established on the 12th December 1927, 6 years after the main Charity was formed. Initially busy in every part of the Legion’s ideals of Service with Tom Badrick, being the only member to every have been awarded the Legion’s - Gold Badge.
By 1974 this Branch was already being considered for closure by the Officers of the day and reverted to just honouring Remembrance as the only Branch activity.
In 1993 a new initiative sowed seeds of regrowth and pressed by Podge Price & Andy Stephenson to maintain Branch longevity but in 2002 a call for amalgamated with another nearby larger branch was repeated. An EGM was held, Andy spoke out passionately against this action citing the core values of the Legion and what amalgamation would really mean to Aldbury Branch. A vote was taken and the Chairman’s casting vote was required to secure the safety of Aldbury Branch. At that time there was little appetite from members to work to our ideals of Service and Andy took on the role of Secretary (2001), Treasurer (2011), PAO (1993) & was also a Volunteer Welfare Caseworker from 2007, a role in which he continues today. He focused initially on building up the Poppy Appeal successfully and dealing in excess of 150 welfare cases. In 2018 our membership fell to 22, Andy single handily started speaking to visitors, strangers and members of our village, explaining what the Legion stood for, and how their membership could make a difference. Consequently, our membership grew to 48, as of November 2020.
As a result of Branch refreshed activity Aldbury has won a number of awards:
- 2000 & 2002 the County Poppy Award for sustained growth;
- 2009 the County Poppy Awards for both sustained growth and also the highest percentage donation increase over that year;
- In 2018 Our Branch Standard and Wreath layer attended The Great Pilgrimage (GP90) in Ypres;
- In 2020 Aldbury won both the County Branch Efficiency Cup and the George Jenkins Cup for the highest percentage increase in membership;
- In September 2020, Aldbury Branch was named as the Runner-Up in the national Lister Cup competition for the most efficient Branch. 2020 also saw a 75% increase in the Poppy Appeal when in fact a reduction was feared due to the national Covid pandemic.
- In December the Hertfordshire High Sheriff visited Aldbury to discover our secrets to success.
- We now look forward to our own Aldbury Branch Centenary in December 2027.
- Most importantly of all we can all now see sustainability and longevity for this small Branch of Aldbury.