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100 Years of the Royal British Legion marked with tree planting ceremony



The 100 year anniversary of the formation of the Royal British Legion was marked on Saturday morning in the Mid and East Antrim Borough with a tree being planted by Ballymena, Broughshane, and Cullybackey branches of the RBL.


The ceremony was attended by Deputy Mayor, Councillor Andrew Wilson, who commented:


“This morning it was an honour to join with the Ballymena, Broughshane, and Cullybackey branches of the Royal British Legion to mark the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RBL.





The British Legion was formed on 15 May 1921, bringing together four national organisations of ex-Servicemen that had established themselves after the First World War:


• The National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers

• The British National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers

• The Comrades of The Great War

• The Officers' Association


The amalgamation of these diverse bodies can be attributed largely to two men: Field Marshal Earl Haig and Tom Lister of The Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers. Lord Haig served as the President of The Royal British Legion until his death.


Over six million men had served in the war. Of those who came back, 1.75 million had suffered some kind of disability and half of these were permanently disabled.





Then there were those who depended on those who had gone to war – the wives and children, widows, and orphans, as well as the parents who had lost sons in the war, on whom they were often financially dependent.


The Royal British Legion was established to care for those who had suffered as a result of service during the First World War. And has been helping the Armed Forces community and their families ever since.


This morning Prince Charles marked the anniversary by sharing a video and wishing a happy 100th birthday to the RBL.


“Wishing a very happy 100th birthday to everyone at the Royal British Legion!”



The Prince of Wales continued:


“The Royal Family has a long and proud association with the Royal British Legion, with Her Majesty The Queen following her father King George VI as Patron.”


King George VI and Queen Elizabeth are followed by Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret at a Royal British Legion parade in 1946.