Legion members celebrate 90th birthday of Melton women’s branch

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Members of the women’s section of the Royal British Legion have celebrated the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Melton branch.

Two commemorative cakes were enjoyed to mark the occasion - the club was formed on January 24, 1925, to support servicemen who had fought in the First World War.

President Pat Wilson said: “The Melton branch was formed to collect and issue clothes and food to people who had come back from the war.

“They used to meet in King Street in the room above where WH Smiths is, where Melton Snooker Club is now based.

“We thought it was important to mark the 90th anniversary of the women’s branch because it has been an important organisation in the town.”

The Melton branch has 400 members and more than 20 people regularly attend monthly meetings. Interesting speakers are booked most months, bingo and quizzes are held and members help raise thousands of pounds every year for the Poppy Appeal from collections and a big raffle.

The women’s branch of the legion is represented at many commemorative events, such as Remembrance Sunday and the Armistice service, by standard bearer Eileen Booker or her daughter, Dawn, the deputy standard bearer.

The original branch standard was donated by the Duke of Windsor in January 1924 and this was replaced in 1979 by one contributed by the then Mayor of Melton, Joan Stokes-Morris. Money was raised to provide the current standard, which was dedicated at Sage Cross Methodist Church in the town four years ago.

Mrs Wilson said: “I joined in 1972. I went along with my mum, mainly because I wanted to see what she was up to. I enjoyed it and I’ve been a member ever since. Some of the members have been involved for many years. Marjorie Brutnell, who is 95, joined in 1947 and was awarded an MBE by the Queen for her service. She has given the branch her medal so we can show it off in the legion club.”

About 70 people attended a recent get-together to celebrate the Melton RBL women’s section’s 90th anniversary. A raffle raised about £200 and a further £20 was raised after one of the commemorative cakes was raffled off.