The Royal British Legion – History Pages

The British Legion

The History of The British Legion commenced with its formation on Sunday 15 May 1921 by the amalgamation of four other associations:

National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers* (1916)

National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers (1917)

Comrades of The Great War (1917)

Officers’ Association (1920)

The amalgamation of these four diverse bodies can be attributed largely to two men Field Marshall Earl Haig and Mr T F Lister of The Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers.

The Royal Charter

1925 Conference saw the introduction of the Legion’s Royal Charter, nearly four years in the making, at last giving formal status and empowered it with the authority that covered every aspect of it’s work for the ex-service community. Although changed many times over the years it is still the focus of the Legion today.

The Royal British Legion

1971 was another landmark year in the history of the Legion not only did it celebrate its 50th anniversary. But it was the year that the Queen had granted the Legion with the prefix ‘Royal’ in its title.

Photograph of a 1972 hallmarked version of Royal British Legion Badge in GoldIt also entitled some other changes in that the Queen’s crown had to be added to the badge (example right of The Royal British Legion lapel badge in Gold) and The National Standard (not Region, County, Group or Branch) of The Royal British Legion. This process involved the Queen’s approval to the Royal College of Heralds, the Garter Kings of Arms, the Home Office and Ministry of Defence (Navy) and taking over a year to accomplish.