100th Anniversary 1921 - 2021
100th Anniversary of The Royal British Legion
On the 15th of May the Royal British Legion celebrated its 100th Anniversary. The Alicante Branch as with many other branches throughout the world celebrated this landmark to honour the fantastic work carried out by the volunteers of the Legion over the last 100 years.
Our celebrations on the 15th of May took place on the Castalla International Urbanisation and consisted of the following activities.
Physical Challenge. A physical challenge consisting of 100 circuits of the Castalla International Urbanisation. The aim was to complete 350k however a total of 417k was achieved.
24 Hour Music Show. Was presented by our very own DJ Tas. This was live on TWITCH.
Recruiting and Information. A recruiting and Information stand was manned by our Vice Chairman, Mr Ed Morris. A very successful day with eight new members.
Display of Standards There was be a small display of Standards including the Branch Standard, The District standard, the National Flag of the United Kingdom and the Spanish National Flag carried by our Branch Standard Bearers.
Table Top Sale. The Branch also arranged a table top sale in the central car park from 11:00 to 15:00 which consisted of Tombola, Crafts, Brick a Brac and a Burger Bar as well as many other stalls.
Our Remembrance Memorial
On the 25th of January 2021 the Alicante branch of the Royal British Legion submitted a request to the Mayor of Castalla.The request was for permission for the Branch to erect a Memorial Cairn in the remembrance garden at the entrance of the Castalla International urbanisation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion.
The Royal British Legion
The Cairn which is to be approximately 1.7 meters in height and is to be used as a focal point for the branch to hold public Services at times of remembrance throughout the year.
As well as a focal point for the Branch it is intended that the local community should be involved and to this end it is intended to bury a “Time Capsule” under the cairn containing small but relevant items such as: a small domination 2021 coin, a RBL Members badge, a Poppy, and cards of remembrance. The remembrance cards will consist of A5 card which will be personalised and can include any symbol such as a religious symbol, photo or crest. This is open to everybody in the community who would like to place a remembrance card in remembrance of a loved one or friend inside the time capsule.
If permission is approved by the Town Hall one of our local tradesmen, Alex Cowans has kindly offered to construct the cairn provided that the required building materials are supplied, costings for the building materials and plaques will be completed in the near future. It is hoped that the cost of the cairn can be raised by donations from Branch Members and members of the local community. Community and Branch Members who wish to place a remembrance card in the time capsule would be requested to make a small donation, there will be no limit on the amount of cards that an individual wishes to be placed in the time capsule, other fundraising will be required to get this worthwhile project off the ground and we know that community and Branch members will support us.
Introducing our new brand
Since 1921, the Royal British Legion has been supporting the Armed Forces community. Over that time the world in which we operate has changed and we have evolved as an organisation.
Everything we do is about creating better futures for our Armed Forces community and their families, by bringing together nations, communities and individuals. We are determined to ensure that the unique contribution of the Armed Forces community is never forgotten, that individuals are enabled to live fulfilled lives – and that we make a difference.
But to do that we need support from the public, now and into the future. We need people to be aware of our work – and care about it, to understand what we do and why it’s so important, and then take an active role in helping us achieve it.
We need to fully understand and adapt to the changing needs of the people we support – including how we reach them. In essence, we need to enable people to find us and understand what we have to offer – whether they need access to our services or want to support our work.
Fit for the future
As we celebrate our centenary and look to the future, we need one consistent and clear brand that helps people to easily find us, understand who we are and the wide range of things we do.
This year has highlighted the importance of digital channels, for both providing and receiving support. From keeping our community connected through video calls to engaging with new audiences and delivering a very different Poppy Appeal with lots of new ways to get involved online. The role of digital can’t be overstated.
But our existing brand identity – created over 30 years ago - is no longer fit for purpose for a digital world. In the last year alone, over 6.3 million users visited our website, over half of which were using a mobile phone. When used on these channels at a smaller size, our identity is lost and our logo becomes illegible.
Our new identity and logo will help us to be fit for the future whilst celebrating our history.
Our new brand identity
Our new brand identity is inspired by our heritage as we look to our future.
The iconic two-petal poppy is an enduring symbol of Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future. It remains at the heart of our new logo. Our welfare work is vital but less well known, so we need to focus on the Royal British Legion – and all that represents.
The lettering is inspired by the inscription on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey and as such is designed as a symbol of Remembrance.
Our colour palette is also grounded in British heritage with a modern twist. The national colours have been given a slightly more contemporary and warmer hue, with a secondary inspired by British military ribbons. Collectively they create a distinctive and quintessentially British colour palette.
The need to review how we present ourselves began in 2017 and has been a comprehensive process involving input from across the organisation. The new identity was due to launch in the summer of 2020, but was put on hold as a result of Covid-19.
As we celebrate our centenary, we need to ensure we are ready for the future. More than ever people who need our services must be able to find us and for those who can, to be able to support us.
So our new brand identity launches at the start of the centenary year, and the beginning of our next chapter. But, this is the brand for our future – not just in commemoration of this year. A change not overnight but for the long-term, we’re taking a no waste approach to roll out, using up existing materials first to ensure that charity money isn’t wasted.
This is an exciting time for the Royal British Legion, and your continued support on our journey is so important to us.
The Royal British Legion Centenary falls on Saturday 15 May 2021 – but will be celebrated across the entire year.
The Centenary programme will bring together nations, individuals and communities to celebrate both the tremendous achievements of the Legion over the last 100 years and - more importantly – to demonstrate why we are just as relevant in 2021 and beyond.
The Legion’s Work and People
The Legion was formed in May 1921 by the merger of four veterans’ associations of the First World War to provide help to veterans and their families in need, to campaign authorities for improved conditions, and to champion Remembrance to honour the fallen. Legion members set up Branches and Clubs across the country to help in this work and to provide companionship. 100 years later, it still has the same mission – and both its work and the members and volunteers who support it remain as important as ever.
100 Years of the Poppy
In 1921, Legion President Earl Haig announced that he wished Armistice Day, 11 November, to be known henceforth as Remembrance Day and that it would be a ‘Poppy Day’ to raise funds for veterans’ relief.
The nation rallied to his call, wearing all 8 million of the poppies available and establishing a tradition to last a century.
For the first time, 1921 brought together all of the symbols and ceremonies of Remembrance – the Cenotaph, Unknown Warrior, Two Minute Silence, Remembrance Day and the Poppy.
These are still in place at the heart of British life and values.
The Legion Today
Today, the Legion is represented by more than 220,000 members spread over 2,580+ Branches in the UK and Overseas. It operates as the Royal British Legion in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland; Overseas and as Poppyscotland in Scotland.
We continue to champion the Remembrance, interests, and welfare of the entire Armed Forces community.
We understand the needs and interests of the Armed Forces community – and we have a national footprint across local communities to ensure those needs are met.
Our Centenary Objectives
Recognizing the contributions of our members, volunteers, staff and supporters and sharing confidence of our role today and into the future.
Centenary events held nationally, regionally, and locally will provide a series of platforms to tell our story to various audiences whilst also providing key opportunities to reward and recognise our outstanding people and supporters.
Reward and Recognition
Since the Legion was founded, its members, volunteers and staff have dedicated their time and effort to supporting the Armed Forces community and remembering their sacrifice. As part of our centenary celebrations, we are launching a new initiative in 2021 to reward and recognise these vital contributions.
A special Membership Centenary Awards scheme will recognise outstanding contributions in membership roles.
“We Are The Legion”
We have a remarkable story to tell and we will highlight our heritage and achievements using content drawn from a new publication, We Are The Legion, as well as Telling Our Story, and Looking to the Future.
An illustrated centenary hardcover book, We Are The Legion, will become available from mid-April through bookstores and Poppy Shop.
Telling Our Story
We have provided a way to help Legion members share their stories and mementos. These will be shared in the communities where the Legion and its members live, on our digital channels, and at Annual Conference.
To share your memories, visit the RBL website and search “Telling Our Story.”
Looking to the Future
Legion Centenary activities recognise our past, but will also be forward-looking. Across the year, our social media channels and website will be sharing stories of how our charity has responded to challenges with innovation and excellence.
Examples will be drawn from the three areas of our work – Remembrance, campaigning, and welfare – and will include Branches and Fundraising.
By helping ourselves and others to see the Legion and its work more clearly, our Centenary will not only celebrate our past it will give us confidence that we are better equipped to meet the needs of the Armed Forces community in our future.