Celebrating 100 Years of The Royal British Legion in Dunmow

A wreath was laid at Great Dunmow War Memorial to commemorate 100 years

A wreath was laid at Great Dunmow War Memorial to commemorate 100 years of the Royal British Legion for May 2021 and 100 years of Dunmow & District branch for June 2021 - Credit: Dunmow & District Royal British Legion

Dunmow & District Royal British Legion celebrate their 100 year anniversary on June 29, having been formed only six weeks after the Legion was founded.

As part of centenary celebrations, residents are invited to view and contribute to a branch history display in Dunmow Library during the month of June, and to join a virtual challenge.

You may have stories or memories of Legion related events in the Dunmow area, or have family members that are remembered on one of the memorials or came home and had a tale to tell. Email dunmow.poppies@gmail.com

One notable resident was long-time Dunmow resident Donald Banks, a veteran of World War I, who was 16 when he joined the 4th Lincolnshire regiment.

Over many years, Mr Banks contributed greatly to branch activities, and also helped other charitable organisations. In 1981, the then British Legion Housing Association developed Banks Court in Dunmow, still prominent today. The second phase was completed in 1984 and this was named Donald Banks. If there are family members of Donald Banks still living in the area, the branch would like to hear from you.

As a nod to the 100th year and in the spirit of Capt. Tom Moore, residents are also being asked to take on a challenge that completes 100 of something.

This could be just for fun, or to raise money for The Royal British Legion or Captain Tom Foundation. The challenge can be done by individuals, teams or families in one go or over several days throughout June.

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Some of the suggestions put forward are baking 100 cakes, walking 100km as a team, a challenge to walk, hop, skip or sing your way around 100 metres or laps of your garden or nearby park, staying silent for 100 minutes, or cycling 100km. 

An online sponsorship page has been set up at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dunmow100 

Alternatively, sponsorship forms will be available from Dunmow town library, or donate directly to www.captaintom.org where the Royal British Legion has been chosen as one of the beneficiaries.

If you’d like to donate, but don’t know anyone taking part, the Dunmow Poppy Appeal Organiser will be walking 100km in June and is grateful for encouragement and support.

The Dunmow & District Poppy Appeal Organiser is in training for a 100km walk

The Dunmow & District Poppy Appeal Organiser is in training for a 100km walk - Credit: Dunmow & District Royal British Legion

Royal British Legion's formation

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

The Legion was established to provide  welfare, support, hope and comradeship. The aim is to ensure that no one who has served is disadvantaged because of the sacrifices they have made, and support encompasses not only members of the Armed Forces, but families and veterans too.

The Dunmow & District branch is still very active today. The branch has a new meeting venue for 2021 and welcomes new members, whether they have served in the Armed Forces or not.

Royal British Legion is going to celebrate turning 100 on May 21, 1921.

Royal British Legion is going to celebrate turning 100 on May 21, 1921. - Credit: Royal British Legion