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Colston Bassett

Welcome to the Colston Bassett, Owthorpe and Cotgrave Branch of The Royal British Legion



In the local area the Royal British Legion Branches in Cotgrave and Colston Bassett were amongst the first to form in 1921. Cropwell Bishop Branch formed in 1922 and Cropwell Butler and Tythby Branch formed in 1933. While we know little about the Cotgrave, Cropwell Bishop and Cropwell Butler and Tythby Branches we have all the minutes and accounts of the Colston Bassett Branch and know much more of its history. This is fortuitous as it is the only local branch to have survived until today, having been joined by Owthorpe in 1934 and Cotgrave in 1996 to become the 'Colston Bassett, Owthorpe and Cotgrave Branch'.

The Colston Bassett Branch first met on 12 September 1921 when we believe that Sir Edward LeMarchant KCB CBE was the President. 46 members contributed 1/- as a joining fee, 2/6 for their annual subscription and 3d for Christmas cards. Overall each individual paid 3/9, about 19p in today's money. Over the years numbers remained fairly constant and in 1934 when Owthorpe joined the Branch there were 44 members. At that time the annual subscription was still 2/6 and this continued until 1952 when it rose to 3/6.

21 years after the end of the 'War to End All Wars' the Second Word War begun. Over 380,000 British servicemen were killed and almost 600,000 were injured during that war and many additional demands were on the Legion.

Since the end of the Second World War the number of servicemen has reduced significantly as has the number of casualties, but it is a fact that the only year since then in which British servicemen have not been killed in action was 1968. Over 3,400 servicemen have been killed and many more injured in operations in Palestine, Malaya, Korea, Suez, Aden, Borneo, Brunei, Northern Ireland, the Falklands and Iraq. And we are all only too well aware of the sacrifices being made by those serving in Afghanistan today.

There have been many changes in the local Legion Branches. In 1933 the Cropwell Butler and Tythby Branch closed as did the Cropwell Bishop Branch in 1941. Cotgrave Branch survived longer but eventually closed in 1962 thus leaving only the Colston Bassett and Owthorpe Branch which continued to thrive with Sir Denis LeMarchant as President. The annual subscription at that time had risen to 5/-, double what was paid in 1921. Cotgrave Branch reopened in 1969, probably as a result of the increased population of the workforce of the mine, but it closed again in 1980. In 1989 it was 'incorporated' into the Colston Bassett and Owthorpe Branch which in 1996 changed its name to that which we know today: