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Created by Margaret (Craddock) Jones 2014
The Royal British Legion

Burton Latimer War Memorial

The Royal British Legion was formed on 15 May 1921 bringing together four National Organisations of ex-Servicemen that had established themselves after the Great War of 1914-1918.

The British Legion was founded in 1921 as a voice for the ex-Service community as a merger of four organisations: the Comrades of the Great War, the National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers, the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers and the Officers’ Association.  It was granted a Royal Charter on 29 May 1971 to mark the fiftieth anniversary which gives the Legion the privilege of the prefix ‘Royal’.

Earl Haig, commander of the Battle of the Somme and Passchendale was one of the founders of the Legion and was President until his death.

FORMATION OF THE LOCAL BRANCH

The branch was formed c1922/23 and members were recruited wiith the help of the poster shown

Councillor J P Mackintosh took the role of President from 1939 until the end of the Second World War when F T Peck, became President and on his death in 1969 his son, John Peck, was elected to that position. Chairmen were L Underwood, Fred E Wells ('Bumper Wells'), Bob Taylor, Vic Severs, and currently Les Facer.

Honorary Secretaries included F G Lewis (1943) Denis Crick, Janet Craddock, Les Facer, and currently Flos Aldridge.

The Women's section is currently led by Margaret Heels.  The Presidents were, from the end of the war, Mrs A Barlow until the 1950s, Mrs E C Peck until August 1989, when Janet Peck took office to the present date.

British Legion Members with banner dedicated at the Armistice Commemoration Service in 1930.  At the back of the group with medals is Mr Hancock.  At the front from L to R: Billy Brace (with cap), William Lovell (bow tie), standard bearer Jim Bull, Bob Phillips, Bernard Clipson, Mr F W Tailby, Mr C R Blissett (holding cap), behind him Jack Dacre and behind him Harry Craddock
British Legion Members with their banner which was dedicated at the Armistice Commemoration Service in 1930. At the back of the group with medals is Mr Hancock. At the front from L to R: Billy Brace (with cap), William Lovell (bow tie), standard bearer Jim Bull, Bob Phillips, Bernard Clipson, Mr F W Tailby, Mr C R Blissett (holding cap), behind him Jack Dacre and behind him Harry Craddock

For many years, the meeting place of the British Legion was the Legion Hall situated behind the stone built shops bordering The Cross. The premises consisted of a long first-floor hall accessed by stone steps.

Pictured below are happy youngsters who were the sons and daughters of members of the branch enjoying the annual tea and concert. Included in the entertainment were songs and recitations by some of the children themselves and the photograph shows the other children listening interestingly to one of the items.

Children at a happy evening in 1931
The children at a happy evening in 1931

Women's Section tea January 1931
The Women's Section tea January 1931

Committee responsible for arrangements for tea and social January 1931
The committee responsible for the arrangements in connection with the tea and social above
January 1931

The following photograph shows a supper, followed by games and dancing, which marked the opening of the Briitish Legion Branch headquarters in 1935. Standing at the back (from right to left) are Mr W H Tansley (chairman, Kettering Branch of the Legion), Mr W Brown (secretary of the Men's Section of the local branch), Captain T N Bird (president, Kettering Branch), Mrs A Barlow and Mrs Harpur.

Dinner taking place in the Legion Room 1935
Dinner taking place in the Legion Room 1935

The Hall was used mainly by the Women's section for meetings and events until it became unsafe/unsuitable?  Their meetings now take place at the Band Club. The Men's section used the same meeting place until about 2 years ago when they moved to the Civic Centre.

The following photograph shows a Remembrance Parade in the mid-1930s passing The Dukes Arms in the High Street. The British Legion standard-bearer is Mr George Hancock of Station Road, an insurance agent, who served in the South African War, the Great War and was in the Home Guard in the Second World War.

Remembrance Paarade mid-1930's passing The Dukes Arms in the High Street.


Gala Day 28July 1945.  Collection by the British Legion.  Left of Barrel Organ: Lennie Underwood, Harry Cox,  Gerald Lewis (and son?), Gerald Toop.  Right of Barrel Organ: Madge Sanderson, ? John Timpson.  At rear: Harold Timpson, Mrs Clark.  Billy Brace at front,  Sailor unidentified.
Gala Day 28 July 1945. Collection by the British Legion - £47 2s. 21/2d
Left of Barrel Organ: In dress Lennie Underwood, Harry Cox, Gerald Lewis (and son?), Dennis Toop.
Right of Barrel Organ: In top hat Mrs Clark then Harold Timson, in front of them Madge Sanderson, sailor and other lady not known, Billy Brace at front

Members of the British Legion attending their annual dinner at the Alumasc Hall in 1949
Some of the members of the British Legion attending their annual dinner at the Alumasc Hall in 1949

Ladies attending the annual dinner and entertainment in the Alumasc canteen in 1949
Ladies attending the annual dinner and entertainment in the Alumasc canteen in 1949


British Legion Ladies thank Mrs Barlow c1950s.  Roma Thorne presents a gift to Mrs Barlow, outgoing President of Burton Latimer Ladies Section.  Back Row: ?, Mrs Mason, Mrs Phillips, Mrs Gaskin, Mrs Darnell, Mrs Walker.  Second Row: ?. ?, Mrs Spenjce, Mrs Wells, ?, Eva Elliott.   Third Row: ?, Mrs Barber, Mrs Crick, ?, ?, Mrs Stokes, Mrs Doris Brace, Millie Reed.  Front Row: Mrs Annie Brace, Mrs Cox, Mrs Barlow, Roma Thorne, Mrs Clarke
British Legion Ladies thank Mrs Barlow c1950s
Roma Thorne presents a gift to Mrs Barlow, outgoing President of Burton Latimer Ladies Section.
Back Row: ?, Mrs Mason, Mrs Phillips, Mrs Gaskin, Mrs Darnell, Mrs Walker
Second Row: ?, ?, Mrs Spence, Mrs Wells, ?, Eva Elliott.
Third Row: ?, Mrs Barber, Mrs Crick, ?, ?, Mrs Stokes, Mrs Doris Brace, Millie Reed
Front Row: Mrs Annie Brace, Mrs Cox, Mrs Barlow, Roma Thorne, Mrs Clarke

Lady members dinner at the Band Cllub 1952.  Some names from the nearest table: Mrs Barclay, June Smith and Mrs Jack Smith.  Some with their backs to the camera on the next table are: 2nd Mrs Austin and three places along, Mrs Capps.  Facing the camera on that table are: Mrs Borman, Janet Craddock, Sheila Fennell and next but one, Maud Bunyan.
Lady members dinner at the Band Club 1952
Some names from the nearest table: Mrs Barclay, June Smith and Mrs Jack Smith.
Some with their backs to the camera on the next table are: 2nd Mrs Austin and three places along, Mrs Capps.
Facing the camera on that table are: Mrs Borman, Janet Craddock, Sheila Fennell and next but one, Maud Bunyan.

Legion members at Hitchin 1955. L to R: Mr Berwick, Mr Ball, Mr York, Mr Brace, ?, Mr Wright
Legion Members at Hitchin 1955
L-R Mr Berwick, Mr Ball. Mr York, Mr Brace, ?, Mr Wright

Members outing in 1950s
Members Outing 1950s

Members outing 1950s
Members Outing 1950s

Bob Phillips receiving a British Legion Long Service Award from the branch president, Mr Frank T Peck.  Looking on are Dennis Long (centre back) and Fred Wells c1956
Bob Phillips receiving a British Legion Long Service Award from the branch president, Mr Frank T Peck. Looking on are Dennis Long (centre back) and Fred Wells c1956

Members gathered for Remembrance Day parade c1950s with the Mission Room in the background.  L-R: Josie Crick, Mr T Hawkins, Mr A Buckby, Mr W Taylor, Mr Phillips, Mr F T Peck (President), Mr J Bull, Mr F Wells (almost hidden), Mr Prested, Mr J Blott (mostly hidden by Mr W T Brace Snr), Mr H Sawyer, Mr A Caffrey, ? standard bearer, Mr W A Brace Jnr, Dennis Crick (Legion Standard Bearer), Mr E Watson, Mr J Edwards, Mr A Byland, ?, ?, Mr L Blowfield, Mr F Pentelow, Mr H Dicks, Mr G Ward
Members gathered for Remembrance Day parade c1950s with the Mission Room in the background
L-R: Josie Crick, Mr T Hawkins, Mr A Buckby, Mr W Taylor, Mr Phillips, Mr F T Peck (President), Mr J Bull, Mr F Wells (almost hidden), Mr Prested, Mr J Blott (mostly hidden by Mr W T Brace Snr), Mr H Sawyer, Mr A Caffrey, ? standard bearer, Mr W A Brace Jnr, Dennis Crick (Legion Standard Bearer), Mr E Watson, Mr J Edwards, Mr A Byland, ?, ?, Mr L Blowfield, Mr F Pentelow, Mr H Dicks, Mr G Ward

Social Event c1962 L-R: Jack Benford, Pearl Fennell (Piano), Billy Law, Mrs Spriggs, ?, Bob Mackintosh
Social Event c1962
L-R: Jack Benford, Pearl Fennell (Piano), Billy Law, Mrs Spriggs, ?, Bob Mackintosh

Social Event 1970s Standing L-R: Fred Wells, Dennis Crick, Tom Barber, ? Jack Craddock, ?,  Seated L-R: Gladys Wells, Josie Crick, Gwen Twelvetree, Evelyn Barber, Janet Craddock, ?.
Social Event 1970s
Standing L-R: Fred Wells, Dennis Crick, Tom Barber, ? Jack Craddock, ?,
Seated L-R: Gladys Wells, Josie Crick, Gwen Twelvetree, Evelyn Barber, Janet Craddock, ?.

Old Comrades Get-together 1970s On the left is Bill Goodliffe and on the right, 87739 Walter Neville 210th Machine Gun Corps 1914-18. Names for the two gentlemen in the centre are not confirmed.
Old Comrades Get-together 1970s
On the left is Bill Goodliffe and on the right, 87739 Walter Neville 210th Machine Gun Corps 1914-18. Names for the two gentlemen in the centre are not confirmed.

At the War Memorial after the 1973 Service of Remembrance. Standing at the back Arthur Knibbs and ? Second row: Mrs Nicholson, Mrs Joyce, Mrs Parfitt, Helen Featherstone, Margaret Heels, Revd Derek Taylor (Chaplain) Front row: Dennis Crick, Gwen Twelvetree, Josie Crick and Mrs Beach
At the War Memorial after the 1973 Service of Remembrance.
Standing at the back Arthur Knibbs and ?
Second row: Mrs Nicholson, Mrs Joyce, Mrs Parfitt, Helen Featherstone, Margaret Heels, Revd Derek Taylor (Chaplain)
Front row: Dennis Crick, Gwen Twelvetree, Josie Crick and Mrs Beach

George Loak, 157th Labour Corps in 1914-18 enjoying a pint c1975
George Loak, 157th Labour Corps in 1914-18 enjoying a pint c1975

Frank Richardson enjoying a pint at a Legion event c1970s
Frank Richardson enjoying a pint at a Legion event c1970s

75th CELEBRATION

On 17 June 2005, the Burton Latimer branch of the Women's Section of the Royal British Legion celebrated being in existence for 75 years with an event at the Burton Latimer Community Centre. At that time the committee members and officers were:

PRESIDENT - Janet Peck, VICE PRESIDENT - Gwen Twelvetree, CHAIRPERSON - Margaret Heels, SECRETARY - Helen Featherstone, TREASURER & MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY - Carole Bewers, EVENTS SECRETARY - Barbara Marriott.
MEMBERS - Heather Smith, Ann Abbott, Valerie Johnson, Doris Lovell, Doreen Parfitt, Sylvia Russell, Iris Payne, Joan Howe.
STANDARD BEARER - Ashley Foster.

Cutting the cake at the celebration by Vice President Gwen Twelvetree and Councillor Derek Zanger
Cutting the cake at the celebration by Vice President Gwen Twelvetree and Councillor Derek Zanger

A presentation was made at the celebration to committee members by the County President, Pauline Newnes
A presentation was made at the celebration to committee members by the County President, Pauline Newnes

A surprise award was made to Margaret Heels by the Branch President, Janet Peck. This was made on behalf of the entire membership of the Burton Latimer branch to thank Margaret for all her hard work and dedication over the years.

Chairperson Margaret Heels receiving her award from Branch President Janet Peck
Chairperson Margaret Heels receiving her award from Branch President Janet Peck


85th CELEBRATION

On 18 June 2015 the Women's Section of The Royal British Legion was 85 years old. To celebrate this milestone a lunch was held at the Bowls Club when more than 85 members and friends enjoyed a superb meal prepared by the local ladies catering team. The Women's Section was presented with a certificate to mark this very special occasion.


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