The 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion took place at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) in Lincoln.

PICTURES: Salute to Lincolnshire veterans on 100th anniversary of Royal British Legion

Veterans from all over Lincolnshire came together at the weekend to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 1:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 8:48 am

The event saw 21 Standards on parade at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) in Lincoln.

Ten branches were represented from Alford, Barrowby, Boston, City of Lincoln, Gainsborough, Grantham, Scunthorpe, Sleaford, Spilsby and Wainfleet.

Music was provided by Alford Silver Band under the baton of Josh Wilkinson, who played a selection of marches and music representing the last 100 years.

The Last Post and Reveille was sounded by Mr Andrew Taylor.

Various poems were read out depicting Commemoration, Remembrance and Celebration by Dave Tyler, County Vice Chairman, Graham King from the IBCC, Pat Nicholas County, Poppy Appeal Co-ordinator and Tina Wood, County Youth Officer.

Originally planned to take place around the IBCC spire, due to a change in the weather the ceremony was quickly rearranged inside the large marquee by the quick-thinking of Nick Pettit, Parade

Marshal, and Alan Canham, County Parade Marshal.

In his opening address Lincolnshire County Chairman, John Johnson, pointed out that

the Legion is the members - are they are the ones who do the background work for the service of others.

Mr Johnson said: "The weather may have dampened the day, but hearts and minds were in full spirit

bringing together the like minded people from across the County who seriously are devoted

to the work the Legion does with its motto being 'Service not Self'."

Amongst the guests were representatives from Lincolnshire Riders Branch, including one arriving by motor bike outside the marquee who received a message from the

Deputy Lord Lt/County President, Gary Headland, to be taken to the Branches achieving

100 years status congratulating them and wishing them well for the future.

Prayer and Blessing on the work of the Legion was given by the Rev Canon John

Thorold County Chaplain, who also wished the Riders a safe journey in their dispatch work.

Grateful thanks were given to Mrs Nicky van der Drift CEO of IBCC and all the

marvellous volunteers who helped out on the day.

The event concluded with the Deputy Lord Lt taking the salute of the Legion Standards

marching out led by Mr Graham Hewitt carrying the Union Flag.

Paul Dixon, chairman of the Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion, is on the county committee: He said: "It was a very special event and the Royal British Legion are doing a fabulous job helping and supporting the forces and their families.

"As a Skegness branch chairman I would like to get as many ex-forces families involved with us and for them to come and join us on the first Monday of each month at the New Park Club at 7pm."

Denis Chandler, chairman of the Spilsby branch, said: "It was great to see such a good turnout for the county for the Legion’s centenary.

"Mr Johnson mentioned in his address that the Legion at county and national level are doing an excellent job of keeping remembrance alive and for organising the annual Poppy Appeal but the hard fact of the matter is that we have, in many places, an ageing membership who face challenges in carrying the burden of caring for our comrades in need.

"In Spilsby we no longer have a Poppy Appeal organiser or a full-time Standard Bearer, both of which would play a great part in remembrance duties and the all-important Poppy Appeal each November.

"If we face facts, without the money raised during the appeal much of the work carried out by the Legion to support military comrades in need would not be possible. We need new members to come

forward who, in time, can carry on the important work of the Legion at Branch level. Without them

many branches will face a difficult future."

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