Whitehead Branch - The Royal British Legion

Summary of branch History 1944-Today


 In February 1944 the Area Organiser a Mr Sutherland contacted Major R N A Bailey, Bank House, suggesting the formation of a Branch in Whitehead.  This proposal was supported by Cde. Norman Canning, Larne Branch and Chairman of No. 3 Group to which Whitehead would be affiliated.A meeting was arranged by Major Bailey in the A R P Hall on the 30th March 1944. Cde Channing chaired the meeting. Mr Sutherland explained the aims and objectives of a Branch, which was to look after and support the interests of returning ex-servicemen.  Most of the early members were 1914/1918 war veterans.  Dr. Thos Carnwath D S O was elected Chairman and Major Bailey as Secretary. Mr J M Hunter was elected Treasurer. The annual subscription was three shillings and sixpence !!! 28 Members were enrolled. 
The Womens Section was formed in November 1944 and has given stalwart  support to the branch over the years.  Whist drives and the Poppy Appeal spring to mind.  On 6th Dec. 1944 an AGM was held  when the Office Bearers were re-elected. Monthly meetings were held in various venues until 1948 when the lease of Russell's Hall (David Wilson,Grocers) was obtained.  This ended in 1979 when the Branch was invited to make use of a room in the local Community  Centre, thereby reducing our overhead expenses considerably.  In 1986 we were invited by the Captain and Council of Whitehead Golf Club to hold our meetings in the clubhouse and we are most grateful for this facility. The main thrust of the Branch has been welfare work and the Poppy Appeal in November.  This year we had a total of £8,500.00, our  highest to date. Over the years we have presented many awards to Poppy Sellers  and we hope to have another ceremony in the near future.

A Branch Standard was presented by the Henshaw family in 1946, and replaced in 1995 by members of the Mowat family.  The original Standard is now laid up in St. Patricks Church of Ireland, Whitehead. The War Memorial was Dedicated in 1971, the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Legion, when we became THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION.

Our meetings provide a forum for kindred spirits and comradeship.  Our motto is "SERVICE NOT SELF" and putting this into practice we provide help through our Service Committee to ex-service men and women and their dependants. 



Major R N A Bailey           1944-1946

Dr. T Carnwath DSO        1946-1953

Capt. JLT McAdam           1953-1959

Mr RC Macdonnell            1959-1969

Mr WJG Mowat                1969-1974

Mr TJA McComb DFC        1974-1986

Mr R Mowat                     1986-2001

Mr HAS McGregor             2001-2012

Mr R Templeton                2012-2015

Cllr Isobelle Day               2015-Present




Dr T Carnwath DSO          1944-1946

Capt JLT McAdam             1946-1953

Col. G Finney                   1953-1963

Mr W McIlhinney              1963-1975

Mr R Mowat                     1975-1988

Mr J G Johnston               1988-1989

Mr HAS McGregor             1989-1993

Rev CE Brennen               1993-1994

Mr F McCorkell                 1994-1995

Mr HAS McGregor             1995-1996

Mr RS Busby                    1996-1997

Mr M Cowton                    1997-1998

Mr HAS McGregor             1998-1999

Mr JG Johnston                 1999-2001

Mr R Templeton                2001-2012

Mr B Dornan                     2012-Present




Major RNA Bailey             1944-1945

Mr JA Henshaw                1945-1946

Mr RG MacDonnell           1946-1947

Mr WS Hagan                  1947-1951

Mr TJA McComb DFC        1951-1955

Lt Cdr RH Aldworth          1955-1959

Mr BJ McInerney              1959-1968

Mr SL Cardy                    1968-1979

Mr HAS McGregor            1979-1991

Mr J Simpson                  1991-1992

Mr F Prendy                    1992-2000

Mrs I Day                       2000-2015

Miss E Dornan                2015-Present



Mr F Prendy has been Treasurer  from 1992-2005    . Major BL White and Mrs KJ White held office from 1986 - 1991. Mr TJA McComb DFC was Treasurer from about 1955 until his death in 1986.Mr Eric Bailey 2005-2012. Mr Brian McGregor 2012-Present


Col. G Finney - RC Macdonnell, V Gillgan - W McIlhinney - HAS McGregor - MS Irvine, V Crampton, WN Rafferty.


J A Henshaw - R Whatley - A Sykes- R Kent - R Templeton - T Purves - R Leckey - BC McGregor - Eric Bailey-Richard Hambleton-Mark Diamond


Cannon Mark Taylor  BA (Hons) Dip. Theol.




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