Welcome to the Market Harborough Branch of The Royal British Legion
Local Legion News -
Uncovered by George Seward in the Market Harborough Advertiser
and Midland Mail dated Friday, November 16th, 1934.
The paper contains a report of the British Legion Dinner at
Market Harborough, which was presided over by Capt. C. R.
It reported: "Two speakers at the annual Armistice Dinner . . .
expressed resentment in strong terms at the recent memoirs
published by Mr Lloyd George, in which he blames the late Field
Marshal Earl Haig for certain mistakes on the
battlefield during the Great War."
It then goes on to mention the presentation of the Lady
Wernher Challenge Cup for Shooting to the Kibworth Branch.
"Proposing the toast of 'The British Legion', Capt.
Knighton said the Legion was doing really good work and was an
organisation that was well worth supporting. Replying, Mr H. M.
Lonsdale said that the British Legion had been through two crises
during the year . . . it had been proved that it was well and truly
founded. A few months ago a section of the Press had stated that
the Legion was not working satisfactorily, but at a conference,
over a thousand against two had voted in support of the Executive
Committee's decisions, which proved that the Legion had absolute
faith in their committee.
"The British Legion membership had increased to the extent of
sixteen thousand during the year and yet even now it did not
represent a sufficient percentage of ex-servicemen.
Mr Lonsdale said the Market Harborough Branch, through the help of
Mrs Gillilan, had given help to several way-faring ex-servicemen
who had reached Market Harborough, and in one case it had been the
means of getting a man who had come over from New Zealand a good
"The United Services Fund had been completely re-organised and,
through the cutting of a few of the benefits and expenses, would be
able to continue for 14 more years.
"During the last few days, said Mr Lonsdale, certain
statements by a well-known politician had been made against the
late Field Marshal Earl Haig, but he was certain that nothing would
shake their confidence in the founder of the Legion.
"Referring to the criticism of Earl Haig by Mr Lloyd George, Mr
Goodey said 'I find them very distasteful, and think it would have
been better in taste if they had been said while Earl Haig was
alive so that he could have answered them, or left unsaid
altogether. All the great generals lost battles in the war, but
England never lost a campaign. It was by Earl Haig that England was
led to victory."
The report then goes on to list all those sitting at the head
table and the entertainers. The catering, incidentally was by
West's of Market Harborough.
The page also contained details of the Poppy Day collections,
when in almost continuous rain 50 ladies. 'undaunted by the deluge'
sold poppies and raised the sum of over £114. In all the sum of
£203 for the appeal was raised, and there follows a list
covering over 9 column inches of every individual collector's name
and the amount each one collected from 8s. 8d. to £5 17s. 3d.; and
the names of all the shops and businesses in town who
Coverage is also given of Armistice Day services held in the
Market Harborough District, and here we reprint the introduction in
"Whether by reason of Armistice Day falling this year on a
Sunday or not, certainly the event seemed to have gained in
significance, and last Sunday's crowds attending remembrance
services were a large increase on those attending in previous
years. This is true not only of the great services in London, but
also of the services in big provincial centres and in the country,
towns and villages.
In the Market Harborough district the same statement holds good
and notwithstanding the opinion of what must be a very small
minority of people, there is absolutely no sign of any falling away
of interest in the services of remembrance, and no evidence of any
desire for their discontinuance, or for any
alteration in their character.
"We will remember them" are no mere empty words. They still have
an enormous significance to hundreds of thousands of people. The
crowds who gathered on Sunday were composed mainly of individuals
who even at this time of day, sixteen years after the conclusion of
the war, have still a direct personal interest in those who fell in
The war and its personal losses are still very near to the
people who suffered them, and remembrance day is a very solemn day
There then followed reports on services held at Market
Harborough, Little Bowden, Kibworth, Western-by-Welland, Lubenham,
Medbourne, Fleckney, Naseby, Husbands Bosworth, The Langtons, Great
Easton, Welford, Thedingworth and Mowsley, North Kilworth.
The same paper also carried reports of the Kibworth British
Legion annual dinner and an Armistice Tea of the Old Contemptibles
Association at Little Bowden