Sudbury & District Branch RBL celebrated its 100 year anniversary on 31 Jul 2021.
This comprised of a small service at St Gregory's Church followed by afternoon tea in the Townhall and Poppy awards to collectors and volunteers.
Special thanks go to all involved in the planning and preparation of the day, Revd. Canon Cheryl Collins for leading the prayers, Sudbury Mayor Sue Ayres for presenting awards, The WI ladies for serving drinks and Painters Café for the afternoon tea boxes and the Poppy inspired cupcakes.
The British Legion was founded in 1921 as a voice for the ex-service community with the merger of three organisations: the Comrades of the Great War, the National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers and the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers and was the brainchild of Thomas Frederick Lister who was the first chairman of the British Legion.
Along with Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, Lister was a leading advocate for the foundation of the British Legion in the aftermath of the First World War.
The Sudbury branch evolved from what was the Comrades of the Great War Club to the British Legion on 29th May 1921. The men who formed the club back in 1919 in premises across the road from here on The Croft could have had no idea where it would lead two years later. The handwritten minute book of the club at the time hardly mentions the change of name so perhaps it was not viewed with much optimism.
The fact that the branch is still in existence 100 years later is no mean feat and in part is due to the determination of branch officers over the years and generous benefactors. 2020 and the pandemic have made life difficult but officers and branch members have again worked hard to keep the branch alive.
The 15th May 2021 in London marked the Legion centenary, today we gather to mark our branch centenary, a branch which has seen some difficult times almost closing several times and been short of money on occasions but has survived to become a respected organisation in the lifeblood of Sudbury.
Poppy Awards were for the following:
Recognition and thanks of service to the Branch
Revd. Canon Cheryl Collins
5 Year Certificates
Ralf Chandler & Dean Scott
10 Year Certificates
Margaret Cresswell, Julie Penney, Maureen Thomas
15 Year Badge
20 Year Badge
Jason Kilby & John Sayers
25 Year Badge
Clare Bone & Caroline Mountstephen
30 Year Certificate & Medal Broach
Cynthia Hume & Sandie Kilby
50 Year Certificate and special commemorative bar mounted to her medal bar
Congratulations and thanks to all recipients, and well deserved recognition.