100 Years of the Royal British Legion

The Revd. Canon Kathryn Windslow, Rector of Storrington, leading a Service of Remembrance accompanied by the Royal British Legion, Storrington Branch, and Royal Navy Association standard bearers, Des Knight and Richard Shenton

This week I am in the company of the Royal British Legion Storrington Branch secretary Stuart Duncan who is honoured that our branch will be taking part in the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion.

Stuart explains how a Torch of Remembrance will be crossing East and West Sussex to mark 100 years of the Royal British Legion in Sussex. On Friday 27th August at 11:00am the torch will come to Storrington where a service of celebration and thanksgiving will be held in the grounds of St Mary’s Parish Church.

During the ceremony the Torch will pass from a Veteran to a member of our youth community signifying the passing of responsibility for remembering the fallen in war from one generation to the next.

The British Legion was formed on 15 May 1921, bringing together four national organisations of ex-Servicemen that had established themselves after the First World War

Every year the Royal British Legion leads the nation in commemorating and honouring service and sacrifice.

They remember those who lost their lives on active service in all conflicts; from the beginning of the Great War right up to the present day, as well as all those who have served and their families.

Every year in November, the Royal British Legion distributes paper poppies to raise vital funds to help today’s Armed Forces community.

In Storrington in 1919 at the Market Rooms by the White Horse Hotel a meeting of World War I veterans under the chairmanship of Capt George Graham formed the Comrades of the Great War. In 1920 Lt Col Ravenscroft donated some land and with support from the residents of Storrington and the Peace Celebrations committee a hut was built for the comrades on the site of the present social club. It was opened on Armistice Day by Mrs King of Fryern House. The club grew rapidly and in October 1921 it became the Storrington Branch of the British Legion.

Today the Storrington Branch has some 65 members who meet for lunch on St George’s Day and Armistice Day. They are a close community who care not only for members of their own branch but for the men and women of our armed services. Each year through the Poppy appeal they raise more than £10,000.
As Chaplain to the Royal British Legion Storrington Branch I am looking forward to leading the service and celebration with The Revd. Canon Kathryn Windslow, Rector of Storrington. Everyone is welcome at the ceremony and at the Old School afterwards.