The Royal British Legion was first established in 1921 as The British Legion.
History Of Hardwicke and District Branch of the Royal British Legion
On Sunday 28th March 1926 Hardwicke and District first met as a Branch. For about the first ten years members met in each other's houses.
The oldest known surviving Branch meeting minutes are for October 1945 when the AGM was held at the Pilot Inn, Hardwicke which overlooked the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. Fifteen members attended where Major CD Carus-Wilson. MC. Was voted in to the position of Chairman.
Branch meetings were held monthly whenever possible, but there were occasions when no members at all turned up. The meetings were generally held at either the Pilot Inn or Haresfield School.
In 1948 only six or seven meetings were held according to surviving records.
The March 1952 Branch meeting was cancelled due to the death of King George VI.
October 8th 1952 the AGM elected Mr JWA Looseley as Branch Chairman. The Branch held regular whist drives and an Annual Dinner was held each year.
Moving forward it was proposed in 1954 that the Branch should at last have a standard. At 6.30pm on Sunday 24th April 1955 the Branch Standard was dedicated at Hardwicke Church. The Standard had its first outing on Remembrance Day 1955. The Standard Bearer was Mr J Brint and his escorts were Mr G Page and Mr R Hudson.
Christmas gifts were distributed by the Branch to members in need and regular visits were made to those ill or hospitalised.
On 13th February 1960 it was reported that the Branch Poppy Appeal had reached £100 for the very first time.
On Wednesday 31st October 1962 a committee was formed with the objective of building a new HQ and Social club. Various ways of raising money were discussed and members were asked to find out what was available in the form of either temporary or permanent buildings.
On Monday 1st March 1965 a building became available for the price of £265. This was a wooded prefabricated wooden building at RAF Innsworth, Gloucester. It was delivered to a site at Green Lane, Hardwicke on land provided by Mrs Olive Lloyd Baker. Members and donors provided money; members provided the labour for clearing the site and erecting the building. The official name for the building became "Hardwicke and District Branch British Legion HQ and Social Club".
On 14th July 1971 members were invited to join the county Royal British Legion Jubilee Parade and Rally to be held in September at Gloucester Cathedral.
On 13th October 1971 the Branch elected Mr John Vaughan Chairman. He thanked the outgoing Chairman Mr Looseley for 24 years faithful service and presented him with a certificate of appreciation.
On 8th December 1971 approval was gained to obtain a silk pennant for the 50th anniversary. This would cost £4. It was also proposed that several events would take place throughout the year which would include a quiz, skittles week, crib knockout and a Canadian tea party as well as ladies football.
In 1973 alterations were deemed necessary in order to change the wording on the Branch standard to the Royal British Legion.
In May 1973 invitations were extended to members to volunteer to help cut the grass and generally tidy up the area around the branch HQ and Club. A request was also made to have a sign placed at the junction of Green Lane and the A38 showing direction to the Club.
In January 1978 the purchase of a new Branch standard was proposed with cash raised by "our own efforts". The date of 20th May 1978 was proposed as the date to lay up the old Standard and dedicate the new one at Quedgeley Church.
11th April 1979, Mr Ken Mansfield took over as Branch Chairman.
1981 The Royal British Legion Jubilee Year.
1982 A collection was to be made on behalf of the Falkland Island task Force with a skittles bowl.
To be continued .....