Battle to keep British Legion branch alive

Members of the Pocklington Branch of the Royal British Legion.
Members of the Pocklington Branch of the Royal British Legion.

This branch needs you! An important armed forces group may be on the brink of extinction unless it signs up some new recruits.

The Pocklington Branch of The Royal British Legion may not reach its 100th anniversary if young people do not join the group.

The branch is looking for former armed forces personnel who can take up active roles and move it forward.

If the next generation do not pick up the standard it is feared the branch will go close like so many others in the East Riding area.

Roles on the committee are in particular need of fresh blood.

The branch is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023, but it is feared the branch will not be around when the milestone comes around.

Members will be attended a meeting later this month to discuss the future of the branch at the Station Hotel.

Members of the branch are also urging any ex-forces personnel who may need help to come forward and get support.

Branch Chairman Kevin Warcup said: “I’m one of the youngest members of the branch, there’s only a couple younger than me and only one of them is actively involved as the standard bearer.

“There are lots of people in the Pocklington and district area who are ex-forces but they look at the British Legion as an ‘old boys’ club’.

“We need those people who have served in HM Forces to realise that we are not an old boys’ club but a group of people who unite to keep alive the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“If they don’t step up to the mark and take on the roles that are vital to keep the branch running then this ‘old boys’ club’ is going to collapse. It’s going to fold.

“There are other towns in the area that have lost their standard in the last 10 years or so and if we do not act the Pocklington branch is going to disappear.

“Committee members are looking to step down and it’s a real battle to get people to fill the posts.

“We do have people who are willing to join the branch but they are the wrong side of 60.

“We are doing everything we can. We have a website and a Facebook page, so we are trying our best to recruit more people.

“I have a personal stake in the branch. When I first joined the legion we had an old standard. I helped raise funds for a new standard by going on a sponsored walk.

“It will be a real shame if it closes, but it could happen if we do not get some younger members.”

The next Branch meeting will be at 1.30pm for 2pm start, on Thursday 15 June at the Station Hotel, Pocklington.

Visit branches.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/pocklington for more information.