Service to Mark the 100th Anniversary of Royal British Legion Foundation

A service to mark the 100th year anniversary of formation of the Royal British Legion is taking place tomorrow (Saturday 15 May) at St Mary’s Church.

The Royal British Legion was formed in the aftermath of the First World War when on 15 May 1921, a wet and dreary day, a small number of ex-Servicemen walked to the Cenotaph war memorial in London’s Whitehall. As Big Ben struck nine, four men representing societies that for three years had been rivals laid a wreath at the base of the memorial. On that wreath were the badges of the four organisations that came together to fight the injustices faced by those returning home after service and would officially amalgamate to form the British Legion in 1921 From the beginning the RBL campaigned for fair treatment of those who had given so much for their country during the war and provided much needed welfare support and comradeship to millions.

To mark the moment Henley & Peppard branch of the RBL are recreating the activity of that day by laying a wreath at 9am on Saturday 15th on the Town Hall steps accompanied by Henley Mayor Ken Arlett and under the rule of six.

Chairman of the RBL Henley & Peppard Branch, Anne said, “Not to let the Covid situation derail our plans, and keeping within the Government restriction we are pleased and proud to let you know that despite all, we have been able to organise a service by kind invitation of the Rector of St Mary’s Church, Fr Jeremy Tayler to commemorate the last hundred years of this venerable organisation in a most fitting manner and all conducted in accordance with the current restrictions applicable to church services.”

The Eucharist Service will commence at 12 noon on Saturday15th 2021 and early arrival is recommended.

The Queen’s representative, Deputy Lieutenant Lady Cynthia Hall will be present, together with Henley Town Mayor Ken Arlett and Mayoress, Deputy Mayor David Eggleton, and Branch representatives, members, and the wider community – all are welcome.

Four Standards will be on display with Henley Branch Standard bearer John Green, the Peppard Standard bearer Lt Col Nicholas Launders. The Henley Army Cadets will be represented with their Standard bearer Colour Serjeant Major Tallulah Scott together with D-Day Veterans Standard bearer James Nelson.

The service will be taken by Fr Jeremy Tayler with organist Sebastian Thomson and choir of one, Dan Evans. The wider community is very welcome

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