Royal British Legion Celebrates 100
Photos by Wesley Bourke
First published 20 September
Standards and veterans from the island of Ireland gathered at the Belfast War Memorial/City Hall today to celebrate 100 years of the Royal British Legion (RBL). An Act of Remembrance was observed at the War Memorial. The Pipes and Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment then led the parade through Belfast to Belfast Cathedral for a service to mark the RBL 100. The celebrations were due to be held earlier in the year, but due to Covid-19 restrictions this was postponed.
With the ending of the Great War some 6million had gone through the ranks of the British Armed Forces. Of those that returned 1.75 had some sort of disability, with half left with a permanent disability. The British Legion was formed on 15 May 1921, bringing together four national organisations of ex-Servicemen that had established themselves after the war: The National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers. The British National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers.
Today the Royal British Legion is the UK’s leading Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces (Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy) past and present and their families. It is also the UK’s custodian of remembrance. On the island of Ireland there are some 150,000 and 20,000 ex-service personnel of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, in Northern Ireland and the Rep. of Ireland respectively. The Royal British Legion supports veterans throughout the island through a network of branches and outreach programmes. You can find the RBL Norther Ireland in Craig Plaza, 51-53 Fountain St, Belfast. The RBL is also a registered charity in the Rep. of Ireland with headquarters in Molesworth Street, Dublin. Due to partition in 1922, the RBL in the Rep. of Ireland was formally established in 1925.
A service will be held in Belfast Cathedral to celebrate the centenary of the RBL. A live stream of the service will be provided on: www.facbook.com/BelfastCathedral
The livestream will commence at 15:00 for the arrival of the standards, with the Service starting at 15:30.
This project was supported by The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the NI Veterans Commissioner’s Office, The Royal British Legion Northern Ireland and The Royal British Legion Rep. of Ireland.