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History

Welcome to the Market Harborough Branch of The Royal British Legion

Market Harborough Branch was formed in 1923 at a meeting of ex-servicemen held on 23 March. Facts about the early days of the British Legion locally, such as the formation and subsequent meetings and the  Branch 1934 Annual Armistice Dinner come from newspaper archives. The Branch's own records prior to 1977 sadly have been lost but an article published by the Market Harborough Historical Society gives a glimpse of welfare and social activity gleaned from Branch minutes from 1931 to 1959. These also show that there was confusion about the date of the formation of the Branch.

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A major achievement just after the war was raising funds for, and erecting a building for use as a Branch HQ not a Club. It is intriguing to imagine a branch populated with lots of keen young men getting together after work to create their place. When they were no longer young and keen, the building was allowed to deteriorate and with lack of funds for maintenance, it was sold in 1991. The proceeds were invested in a RBL Trust account. In 2004 some of the money was used to purchase a portable building to be used for the Poppy Appeal and the storage of Branch archives and other material. Now existing and future minutes and other records have a good chance of survival!

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Over the  years some small branches like Kibworth and The Langtons have closed and some of their members will have joined Market Harborough. In the case of Welland Valley Branch, their funds and records were also transferred.There have been times when our Branch declined and the quote in the 1982 AGM Minutes "efforts to get the Branch moving were just beginning to take effect" reflects that. The minute also states "the Branch had won the (County) Bob Hart Trophy for increased membership." Over 20 years later another regeneration started leading to the active, caring, friendly, innovative, outward looking and successful Branch you see today. And we have won the Trophy again! (and many others).

 


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