Larne Royal British Legion Branch plans programme to celebrate three centenaries

A memorial service will be held at the end of this month to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion, Royal British Legion Larne Branch and Northern Ireland.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 5:41 pm

Larne RBL, which was formed in July 1921, is hosting the wreath-laying ceremony at Larne War Memorial on Saturday, July 31, at 11.00am.

It is also planning to hold a ‘cake bake’ in the Legion Club, Point Street, 12noon to 3.00pm on the same day.

The celebrations will be rounded off with a Poppy Appeal volunteers award ceremony from 4.00pm to 7.00pm, again on July 31.

Larne War Memorial (archive image).

Robin Brown, Larne RBL Branch secretary, explained: “If the restrictions have been lifted sufficiently by then, there will be a small group on for ambient music and a bit of atmosphere. Free entry for the cake bake, invitation only for the award ceremony including any RBL members.

“For further details and to avail yourself of a place at any of the above, please contact Matthew Mulroy 07815590434 for cake bake and Robin Brown 07732324318 for the war memorial service.”

The formation of the branch was reported in the Larne Times 100 years ago: Larne ex-servicemen met to form a British Legion Branch on July 22, 1921. A meeting in the Comrades Club recorded the winding up of the affairs of the Larne Branch of the Comrades of the Great War and adaption of the constitution of the British Legion as well as formal establishment of the Larne Branch. All funds were transferred and the officers of the old were re-elected to the new branch with the addition of J. Clarke and A. McGarel as members of committee. The gift of a flag pole to the new organisation was made by Colonel R.C.A. McCalmont DSO. Honorary secretary of the new branch was W.A. Wilson, British Legion Club, Inver, Larne.

Like many organisation, the RBL has felt the impact of lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. However, Robin pointed out that servicemen and women were still going out to conflicts and assisting the NHS with its Covid response.

The Legion Club at Point Street, Larne.

Robin added: “As everyone knows, Covid has hit not only the economy but also all the charities all over the world. The Royal British Legion is no different.

“We had a good Remembrance Day in 2020 with a small ceremony at the war memorial. As you all may be aware to Poppy Collection was very much downsized but the Larne people still showed their appreciation by donating nearly £11,000 to the appeal.

“The chairman and committee of Larne Branch of the Royal British Legion would like to thank everyone for their donations and hope this year will be bigger and better than last year.”

--

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.