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Needham Market Branch

Welcome to the Needham Market Branch of The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion

National Role

The British Legion (as it was then known) was founded in 1921 by senior Army officers concerned about  the lack of support for the many thousands of severely wounded ex-servicemen, thrown back upon civilian life with no provison for medical or social care. 

Today The Royal British Legion provides financial, social and emotional care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces - past and present and their families.

Famous for looking after the interests of those who served in the First and Second World Wars, today we also care for those involved in the many conflicts since 1945 and those still fighting for the freedom we enjoy today.

Many of today's veterans are only aged 20+ and some of the injured will require support for the rest of their lives - our mission stretches into the indefinite future.

The Legion is the National Custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is perhaps best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem the red poppy.

Visit www.britishlegion.org.uk for details of our national initiatives.

Membership

The Royal British Legion is the UK's leading Armed Forces charity and one of the country's largest membership organisations. Members iaise  through the network of branches and clubs all over the country and overseas to participate in social, fundraising and welfare activities.

Membership is open to everyone. If you have an interest in the objectives of the Legion and want to help and support for those who have served and their families, come and join us. We welcome men and women of all ages, whether they have served in the Armed Forces or not.

Legion membership ensures that:

  • Remembrance is kept alive and that the sacrifices made by our brave Service men and women are never forgotten.
  • The ex-Service community has a voice and that our concerns are brought to the public eye.

Becoming a member also provides an opportunity to get involved in a wide range of activities and events held locally, regionally and nationally throughout the year.

Needham Market Branch

Needham Market Branch meets at 7 for 7.30pm on the last Thursday in the month at the Community Centre in School Street, Needham Market IP6 8BB.

The Branch was formed in 1929, just eight years after the national formation of the British Legion. Numbers grew steadily in the inter-war years and were swelled following the Second World War by returning ex-servicemen. At one point there were nearly 200 members from the town and surrounding villages. 

Up until the 1950's the Branch was very active on the Welfare Front; collecting for the Poppy Appeal and looking after members in need. It provided a Christmas gift food parcel to widows of members but extension of welfare services provided by the state brought this activity to a close.

In recent years, as the Armed Forces have shrunk, so the active membership of the Branch has diminished but in 2007 the Branch was re-launched by a group of veterans who had settled in the towm, some following military service at  the nearby Wattisham Air Base in the former RAF or recent Army days.

The Needham Market Branch is now a small but active Branch of The Royal British Legion that makes a positive contribution to the life of our community. The Branch programme is built around Comradeship and Remembrance. Wives of many ex-service members are members in their own right and play a significant role in ensuring that our programme contains a balance of events including talks (not always on a military subject), social events, excursions and fund raising for the Poppy Appeal.

 

Affiliation

We recently affiliated with the Army Cadet Force unit on nearby Wattisham Air base. It has been interesting for us "old sweats" to observe the young people in training and they have been kind enough to listen to our tales of being in uniform long ago. Both groups have learned from each other and we look forward to more activities shared with the cadets.

If you wish to contact us or to report any inaccuracies or omissions on this site, please email Peter Down or call 01449 721 235.

 

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