The Royal British Legion is the UK’s leading Armed Forces charity and one of its largest membership organisations.
Boxted Branch Committee meets at 7.45pm on the first Thursday of every month at the club house in Boxted. Members are invited to attend quarterly meetings as notified by the committee.
Membership is open to everyone. If you have an interest in the objectives of the Legion and want to help and support those who have served and their families, come and join us. We welcome men and women of all ages, whether they have served in the Armed Forces or not.
The Boxted Branch of the Royal British Legion was formed in 1935 by ex-servicemen of the 1st World War. The first President was Capt. G.H. Swift who lived at Cheshunts in Church Street. Col. Guy Blewitt was the first chairman with Mr T.F. Alderton as the original secretary.
Their major remit was to help ex-servicemen with their health and pension problems. Committee meetings were held in the Priory Hall which acted as the village hall at the time. Committee members paid 6 pence (2½p) each meeting towards the purchase of bricks to build the hut. Members subscription was half a crown – 2/6d (12½p).
The hut, on Straight Road, was built from 2 Nissun huts bought from the POW camp at Wrabness, for £30 each. Mr Geater, who ran the garage in the village, transported the huts free of charge while Col. Waller, who lived at Boxted Lodge, sold a 50-year lease on the land to the Legion for a peppercorn rent. The hut was finally opened in 1948 when a small bottle of beer cost 9d while a large brown ale was 1/8d. The hut was heated by two tortoise stoves – one in the middle and the other at the far end. Beer was supplied by Ind, Coope and Allsopp who also provided the chairs for the hut.
The Gant family are prominent figures in our Branch history. Harry was secretary from 1937 until 1964 when his son Eric took over; at this time there were over 300 members. Both Eric and Harry were awarded the Legion’s Gold badge and Eric had the great honour of carrying the Boxted Standard at two British Legion Remembrance celebrations in the Albert Hall – in 1964 and 1988. In 2015 Boxted was again represented by the current Standard Bearer, Barry Took.
Across the UK, there are several hundred ‘Royal British Legion’ clubs and we are lucky enough to have one within our community. The club is an independent business, which pays a license fee to the RBL. To make use of the club’s benefits you need to be a member of the Royal British Legion and the club. This costs under £30 for the year and is open to all applications – you do not need to have connections to the armed forces.
The Royal British Legion Club is a friendly social club offering a range of activities, events and bar games, and is currently the only place in the village where there is an alcohol licence. For up-to-date information on opening times and events visit our Facebook page Boxted Royal British legion Club . To join the club, call in during opening hours, or email firstname.lastname@example.org