Orwell and Disrict Branch Royal British Legion

This article was first published in the Orwell Bulletin March 1984

S J Wisson

 

new Orwell and District Branch

Yes! The Royal British Legion does exist and at other times than Armistice Sunday and Poppy Day Appeal. Since taking over the now defunct Arrington and District British Legion branch members, the membership of the new Orwell and District Branch of the Royal British Legion membership now stands at more than 80 in number, and the Officers of the newly accredited branch would like to see a few more of the large number of members attending branch meetings. Don't leave it always to the faithful few. Mind you, the faithful few still soldier on but would welcome better attendance at all Legion functions and we try to arrange a few.

their red tunics made a wonderful spectacle

Well now let's make mention of one very special day held at Orwell, on Sunday 18th September 1983, the weather being very favourable, this being the day agreed to have the Dedication of the new Orwell and District Branch of the Royal British Legion  and the laying up of the old Orwell British Legion Standard. The parade assembled on the Orwell Recreation Ground, a good spot for such a parade to Assemble when coach and car loads of Royal British Legion Members descended on Orwell from Men's and Women's Branches throughout the county with their Standards flying.

Photo:Band of the Queen's Division from Bassingbourn Barracks

Band of the Queen's Division from Bassingbourn Barracks

What a wonderful picture to behold and then to lead the parade from the Recreation Ground to the Orwell Church. The Band of the Queen's Division from the Bassingbourn Barracks under their Bandmaster Drum Major Wild in their red tunics made a wonderful spectacle and with local photographers clicking their cameras to record this wonderful day and with interested spectators lining the route to the Church where the Dedication was to take place. The Church was filled to capacity, with the Rector, the Revd. J. Thomson of Orwell, conducting the service assisted by the Chaplain at Bassingbourn Barracks, the Revd. J. R. Griffeth Malley, who gave the address and the Revd. A. Kingsley Lloyd, Methodist minister. The laying up of the old standard was carried out first and then accepting of the new standard, following the Lesson being read by the branch President, Mr N. Summers.

the last post was sounded by two Buglers

 

After the address the Last Post was sounded by two Buglers from the Band of the Queen's Division, then followed the exhortation by the branch Vice-chairman, Mr S.J. Wisson, and the laying of the wreath. After short prayers the Buglers sounded the reveille, and after the National Anthem the parade reformed under the splendid leadership of the Parade Marshall County Chairman, A. Ambrose, led again by the Band of the Queen's Division down Stocks Lane where the salute was taken by

Photo:Taking the Salute in Stocks Lane

Taking the Salute in Stocks Lane

Lt. - Col. I. G. Baillie, Commanding Officer Depot The Queen's Division with County Officers in support, and then on to Lotfield Street to the Rereation Ground for dismissal but not before the Branch President,  Lt. - Col. I. G. Baillie and County President had thanked and complimented the turn out of the Royal British Legion Members.

Photo:At the Church,after the Service of Dedication

At the Church,after the Service of Dedication

Hymns sung at the Service of Dedication were, in order of service used :

“All people that on earth do dwell”   

“Eternal Father, strong to save”

“Onward Christian Soldiers”                

 “O God, our help in ages past”

“Now thank we all our God”      and the organist was Mr James Ward.

Tea was served in Petersfield School afterwards where old and new friends revived old memories of past days and thanks expressed to all who in any way at all had helped to make this day a memorable one.

The Branch Chairman Mr L. Miller carried the new Standard and Len, as he is so well known has now relinquished the position of Standard Bearer and handed over to a younger member,

Photo:Len Miller with Colin Charter in 1995 handing over the Standard

Len Miller with Colin Charter in 1995 handing over the Standard

Mr Colin Charter, with Len as Deputy. All the members hold Len in great esteem, he works so hard for the Legion, in fact I say he is the Legion. A most dedicated member with nothing too difficult for him to do in keeping the Royal British Legion alive in Orwell and District, one can't fail to give some if not only a little support to Len, our Branch Chairman.

Remember the Legion exists to help all ex-service men and women whether they are members of the Royal British Legion or not; the branch attends efforts and holds meetings, does good benevolent work where necessary, so please don't think of us as a flag waving organisation but we exist to serve and at the commencement of every Branch meeting the exhortation is given to not forget those who gave their today for our tomorrow.

S. J. Wisson

 

 

This page was added by Pat Grigor on 03/12/2012.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.