Legion’s vital role stressed

Members of the Royal British Legion follow Berwick Pipe Band.

Members of the Royal British Legion follow Berwick Pipe Band.

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Servicemen and women should be aware of the importance of the Royal British Legion.

At a meeting of the Berwick branch, chairman, Rev Bob Higham said it provided comradeship, advice, support and in some cases finance. Its role would be even more vital as British Forces return from Afghanistan.

In the Legion welfare is a key factor and while Berwick does not have a welfare officer of its own, the work is being capably undertaken by Ken Driver of the award-winning Crookham branch.

Reporting on the county’s recent annual meeting Mr Higham said each branch should have an officer and a qualified case worker for whom training would be given.

Branches needed to have a critical mass of people involved in order to counteract apathy and dwindling membership.

Berwick has a social evening at The Blenheim on the first Thursday of every month, a pie and pea supper at Magdalene Fields Golf Club on March 7 and a coffee morning at the Halidon Terrace home of Councillor John Stephenson on May 23.

The branch is compiling a list of volunteers who have been selling poppies for periods of 20 to 60 years. When it is completed a special event will be held to recognise their efforts.

Efforts are also continuing to establish beyond doubt who owns the land on which Castlegate War Memorial stands. It is intended to have the names of all the local World War Two victims placed on it. An anthology of people who lost their lives in the First World Was is being prepared by the Berwick Freemen and the Legion branch is assisting.

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