The Royal British Legion Scotland is one of the country’s leading ex-service charities Safeguarding the interests and welfare of those who have served, or are currently serving in the Armed forces, and their dependents. The Inverness branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland grew from the Returned Soldiers and Sailors Association which formed during World War One to cater for the needs of the many wounded servicemen returning from that conflict. Today it’s a thriving organisation which enjoys a close association with the British Legion Club (Inverness) Ltd. Over the years both have become known affectionately as the “Inverness Legion”. Run as separate concerns, the branch committee is mainly involved with organising welfare, sports, ceremonial duties and the annual poppy appeal, while the club committee is responsible for organising the social life of the Inverness Legion. Perhaps best known for its role in Remembrance ceremonies, The Royal British Legion Inverness organises local events and the poppy appeal which raises money to help fund the legion’s welfare work. The laying of poppy crosses on the war graves of all those who have served in the Forces, at Tomnahurich and Kilvean cemeteries and the Remembrance Sunday parade and service at the Cavell Gardens cenotaph are well-established traditions for the local branch.The ceremonial committee of the branch is responsible for these commemorative events as well as standards and standard bearers who participate in the Inverness Tattoo each year. Annual standard bearing competitions are also held, with the area winner going forward to compete at national level. The Inverness Legion’s pipe band is well thought of in the piping community and plays throughout the Highlands and Islands. The band held its first chanter practice session in May 1919 and has been going strong ever since and many members have played for over thirty years. These aspects of the Royal British Legion are all in the public eye but some of the most vital work carried out by the branch is done quietly behind the scenes. The Earl Haig Fund Inverness relief committee locally awards welfare grants to ex-service men and women and their dependants who have genuine need for financial support. In addition, the legion offers free help and advice on all pension, welfare and benefit matters. Welfare consists mainly of hospital and home visits. Parcels are also delivered at Christmas which include financial gift donations made by the club. To receive welfare assistance or advice you don’t have to be a legion member but you must be an ex-service person or dependant. The women’s section is another integral part of the Inverness Legion. Formed in 1924, it carries out welfare work and participates in many of the branch activities and events. The section is particularly busy during poppy week when it mans the Poppy Shop in the Armed Forces Careers Office by kind permission of the Officer Commanding. Those with a service link can become a full ordinary member of the Royal British Legion with full voting powers and the right to be an office bearer. Whether you wish to play an active part in the legion’s welfare work or perhaps join the pipe band, the Inverness Legion welcomes everyone with an interest in “service not self”.
The British Legion Club(Inverness)Limited, 10 Huntly Street, Inverness, IV3 5PR