British Legion

The Royal British Legion, Hanmer Branch

A branch was first formed locally in 1919 after the First World War. It was inactive by 1939 and was reformed in 1950 after the Second World War. Two foundation members from that time, Eric Stockton and Ted Fisher, were still members at the time of the disbanding in 2004, some 54 years later.

It was a remarkable organisation, which was active in Hanmer and district for over half a century, and which arose from the experience of those who had seen active service in the two World Wars. These wars were world-changing events, which had a significant impact on this small rural area on the border of Wales. Those who came back were determined not to forget the sacrifice, which had been made by their comrades and were well aware that they too might have died. Many indeed came back with some form of injury and some came back from horrific prisoner of war camps. They came back to families, but all knew of families to which sons and husbands and fathers did not return. This experience threw together men from all walks of life to work in concert and share comradeship at social functions and dinners.

In November 2004 it was with great sadness that the few surviving members made the decision to disband. This was, by contrast, also satisfying in that it reflected the nearly sixty years of freedom from world war. A History of the Hanmer Branch was written at that time by Bill Barlow at the request of the Branch. Existing members at that time were consulted for their memories of the Branch. This History can be found at the Hawarden Record Office.

The remaining members paraded their standard for the last time at St Chad’s Church, Hanmer, on Remembrance Sunday 14th November 2004.
Flags HRBL

The legion then decided to ‘lay up’ their standard in St Chad’s Church and a special service was held at 7 pm on Sunday 28th November. The service was led by Revd Clive Hughes, Vicar of Hanmer, Bettisfield, Bronington and Tallarn Green. A large gathering of well-wishers gathered to join the remaining members. The standard was placed in the chancel and later wall-mounted between the two earlier standards, which were already mounted on the south wall of the church. These older standards are the 1950 and 1960 standards. The third standard was the ‘Royal’ Standard, adopted in 1982 after royal patronage was granted. It is this third Royal Standard that was laid up in St Chad’s Church on 28th November 2004.

Entered 6th November 2013, last updated 4th November 2018 by Bill