Veterans mark 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion

Veterans representing the breadth of the Armed Services came together on Saturday morning at the Church of St John the Baptist in Crawley High Street, to commemorate the founding of the Royal British Legion 100 years ago on 15 May 1921.

Former members of the Army, Navy, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines placed four specially made laurel wreaths on the memorial in the grounds of the church, whilst a small group of supporters also braved the rain to witness the ceremony as a bugler played the Last Post.

The Royal British Legion was formed in the aftermath of the First World War when four organisations came together to fight the injustices faced by those returning home after service – and became the British Legion in 1921.

One hundred years on the Legion continues to respond to the changing needs of the Armed Forces community, providing small interventions to life-changing, and sometimes lifesaving, support.

Pictured (L to R) Jon Salmon (Royal Navy veteran), Dan Spencer (RAF veteran),Sussex Royal British Legion County Chairman Ray Collins, Dave Lilburn (Royal Marine veteran) , Andy Wolstenholme (Army veteran). Picture courtesy of the Royal British Legion

Crawley resident and Sussex Royal British Legion county chairman Ray Collins, who also laid a commemorative wreath, said: “The work that the Royal British Legion carries out on behalf of our ex-forces community and their dependents is as important and relevant today as it was 100 years ago.

"With the work we undertake along with our partner agencies, our ex-forces personnel are getting the support and guidance they may lack after leaving the military.

"I am extremely proud to be part of this great organisation and be able to carry on the work going forward"

The Royal British Legion enjoys tremendous support across Sussex with over 7,500 supporting members across the county.

Over 90 branches formed in the very early years of the Legion are still active in Sussex today, playing an important role in supporting the wider armed forces community.

Chairman Ray Collins added: “We are always looking to grow our membership and supporters within the county, especially around the time of the Poppy Appeal, where our volunteers and members raise the much needed funds to allow us to carry out the important services we offer to the armed forces community and their dependants"