A service to commemorate the disbanding of the women’s section of a local branch of The Royal British Legion, which has been active for more than fifty years, was held at All Saints Church, Hastings last Sunday (September 17).
The special service was held to Lay Up The Standard of Hastings & St Leonards Branch of the Royal British Legion Women’s Section and was conducted by Father Luke Irvine-Capel SSC.
The Address was given by Michael Foster DL who attended as a Deputy Lieutenant and President of the local Royal British Legion Branch.
Hastings Mayor Clly Judy Rogers, Deputy Mayor Nigel Sindon and the Royal British Legion County Chairman Arthur Merrick also attended.
The standard was carried By Debbie Lofts From Sussex County. There were eleven other standards On Parade.
Vice President of the Hastings & St Leonards Branch of the Royal British Legion Women’s Section, Mildred Pelling says it was the service was the end of an era, both for the Section and personally. “The very first Women’s Section Standard was laid up in 1965 at All Saint’s Church and we thought it would be appropriate if the last one went to the same church,” she said.
“The service sheet we used at the last service was exactly the same as the service sheet used in 1965.”
Mildred, who was Chairman of the Hastings & St Leonards Branch of the Royal British Legion Women’s Section for twenty years, says she first became involved when she was a youngster. “Mum took me out selling poppies when I was eleven years old. I joined the branch when I was 18, I stayed and I’m now 81! I stayed because I liked the comradeship and the fact that we were working for people who needed help.”
Mildred says at one time the branch had many members but the numbers dwindled. “There were only twenty ladies left in the group, but years ago there were a lot more. We are all very sad that the branch is closing but it is just one of those things.”
Mildred says ladies will continue to meet as a separate group. “We’ll continue to work and meet at Tesco’s community room, Hollington on the second and fourth Thursday of the month. Any ladies who would like to join us will be most welcome.” For further information call 01424852231.