Royal British Legion could make return
in Berwick

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AN attempt is being made to revive the Berwick Branch of the Royal British Legion.

For the last two years it has been a sub-branch of neighbouring Crookham, but recently talks have been held about the future.

Following an informal meeting to discuss the matter last week, it has been decided to hold a meeting on the options in Berwick Drill Hall on January 9 at 7pm.

By then, it is hoped to find a secretary and a membership secretary. There is already a potential chairman and also a treasurer. It would also be necessary to have a welfare officer.

Tom Fairfax, who is leading the move, is in touch with county chairman David Bell. He has also met with Ailsa Alsop who heads the team raising funds through the poppy day appeal. Ms Alsop needs at least two more committed volunteers to help cover an area extending south to Belford.

“The idea of having a meeting in January is to assess how strong the feeling is to bring a branch back to Berwick,” Mr Fairfax explained.

“There are 74 members but it became very clear that the branch could not continue as it was.”

Mr Fairfax said that the decision to operate as a sub branch with Crookham had worked well, but explained that it had always been the hope that Berwick could revert to full branch status.

He added: “If, next month, no will is shown and no helpers come forward, we would be wasting our time. The alternative would be either to amalgamate with Crookham or disband completely.”

He stressed the need to attract young people; and emphasised that Legion members do not need to have been in the forces. However the tremendous help of its benevolent work is only available to those who have been ex-service men or women.

Mr Fairfax felt that if a Berwick branch was revived, the mutual support with Crookham branch should continue - he said that welfare work was all important.

He also paid tribute to the “sterling” work carried out for the region by Second Lieutenant Debra Jerdan and her team of army cadets, and said that the air training corps had also been very supportive.

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