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History

Welcome to the Nantwich & District Branch of The Royal British Legion

The branch was formed on 30 September 1921 and on the 30 September 1996 it was awarded the 75th Anniversary Pennant by the North West Region.

Little is known about the origins of the branch except that two of the "founding fathers" were Colonel Tintwistle and Colonel G Christie-Miller. It is thought over 1,000 local men who had served in the First World War were members between the war years and much help was given to the dependants of over 200 local men who did not return.

At the end of the Second World War the strength of the branch again passed the 1,000 mark. An RBL Club was opened in Barker Street and this provided a congenial meeting point for the ex-Service community until its closure in the late fifties. Major General Beanland was then a prominent member and many senior ranking ex-officers filled the committee positions, notably Major Colin Edwards MC, who had been commissioned in the field during the North African Campaign, serving the Legion with distinction until his death in 1991.

Nowadays the strength of the branch fluctuates around 160-170 and membership is very active with a mix of ex-service, serving and people who have never served in H.M. Forces. The committee organise the Nantwich Town annual Remembrance Parades and Services and visits the District Churches supporting their Remembrance Services; it maintains strong links with other ex-Service associations, in particular (until recently) the Czech Association. The Anzac Parade and Service on Anzac Day at Cannock Chase is attended on an annual basis and support is provided to other South Cheshire RBL Branches when requested. The branch is affiliated to 100 squadron (Nantwich) Air Training Corps, Nantwich Army Cadet Force (1 Mercian) and just recently the Nantwich Fire Cadets.

Unfortunately the Czech Association is now no longer active but a small ceremony will still be held at Cholmondley Castle. A memorial to the Czechs is under construction at the National Memorial Arboretum.

ANZAC Day Service April 2000
Anzac Day Service on Cannock Chase, April 2000, with two of our members and John Cartwright who has sounded the Last Post on Poppy Day for the last 51 years

Donations are made regularly to Byng House Rest and Convalescent Home when funds are available and a very active Service Committee deal with all requests for help and assistance from ex-Service people and their dependants in Nantwich and its surrounding area.

Garden Party, Cholmondeley Castle
Garden party after the Service in Cholmondeley Castle grounds at which our then Branch Chairman Phil Reade presented a model spitfire to Czechoslovak Legionaires Association
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