1934 News report

Welcome to the Market Harborough Branch of The Royal British Legion

Local Legion News - 1934

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. Knighton.

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 position.

"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 contributed.

Coverage is also given of Armistice Day services held in the Market Harborough District, and here we reprint the introduction in full:

"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.

The war and its personal losses are still very near to the people who suffered them, and remembrance day is a very solemn day for most."

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


Search our Knowledge base

for answers

Get in touch Launch live chat

8am to 8pm, all week

Call our helpline 0808 802 8080

8am to 8pm, all week

Find us locally Pop in for a chat

10am to 4pm, weekdays