Welcome to the Leigh-on-Sea Branch of The Royal British Legion
The inaugural meeting of the branch took place at St Clements Hall on 22nd September 1937.
The reason for the formation of the branch was summed up by a statement made to the local newspaper at the time, THE LEIGH NEWS, by Mr.F.F Carter secretary of the branch who said,
’’I have been approached by a number of ex servicemen in Leigh with the idea of forming a new branch of the British Legion in their district. One reason is that of saving fares to Southend & Westcliff where the only branches are, the usual cost of this is abot 6d (2.5p) which is more than the average chap can afford.’’
The first meeting opened with a silent tribute to friends who had fallen in the service of their Country as every meeting still does today.
The principles of the Legion were outlined by Capt.R.W Smith Stewart, the area secretary, who said he was pleased to see representatives from the Westcliff & Southend branches present and that they too welcomed the idea of the formation of a branch in Leigh.
After the election of officers it was decided that the annual subscription would be 5 Shillings (25p).
Major W Simmons was the first chairman, Capt.W James his deputy with Mr C.E Smith treasurer & Mr F.F Carter secretary.
The first standard was brought as a result of donations by members in March 1938 with Mrs.Butt as the first standard bearer. The standard was dedicated in a packed St.Clements church on Sunday Ist May 1938.
It was a very impessive scene over 40 standards were paraded followed by a march past to Marine parade, where the salute was taken by Admiral Sir Henry Bruce, chairman of the London area. He congratulated all those who took part and said that as boy scouts do a good turn every day so the members of the British Legion should always be on the lookout to help and render assistance to a member of the legion or not.
The first meeting of the womens section followed in May 1938.