History of the York Branch

The York branch was formed in a local hostelry in September 1921 by a group of 'Old Contemptibles' and ex-Servicemen from World War I and held its first poppy collection on 11 November 1921. The poppies soon ran out, such was the demand from the public. In those early days poppies were on allocation to branches from Headquarters.

In 1922 the branch moved to the United Services Club which later changed its name to 'The British Legion Club'. Over the years the branch had a very close relationship with the club officials, but sadly in 1974 there was disagreement between club and branch officials which led to its demise.

With no regular meeting place membership dwindled, and it was only due to the dedication of a few members meeting in various public houses in York that the branch survived and eventually moved to facilities in a local City Centre drill hall. This lasted until 1990 when the hall closed again leaving the branch homeless. After a few more temporary homes, the branch moved to The Railway Institute, Queens Street, York. Meeting were held at rhe RI until March 2014 when the branch moved again to the Clarence Working Men's Club, Clarence St. York then moving in 2015 across the road to the Punchbowl Public House where it meets now. Despite the setbacks, which have led to a fluctuating membership, branch numbers now stand around the 200 mark.


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