Website of the Laceby History Group

Royal British Legion - "Service not self"

A branch of the British Legion was formed in Laceby in April 1938. The inaugural meeting was in the Temperance Hall (Community Hall), High Street on the 21st April 1938. Major A.B.Entwistle M.C. County Secretary was in attendance. Major J.Bainbridge was elected to chair the meeting and he was supported by 19 ex-servicemen.

The following were elected to office:-

Chairman - Major J.Bainbridge

Vice Chairman - Mr. W. Allison

Treasurer - Mr. C. Jones

Secretary - Mr. G. Chambers

It was agreed that the President and Vice President would be elected at a meeting to be called for the 28th April.

28.4.38

Chair - Major Bainbridge

V/Chair - Mr. Allison

Treas. - Mr. Jones

Secr - Mr. Chambers and 27 members.

The following were elected to office:-

President
Capt. H. Spilman M.C.

V/Presidents
Major Bloomer
Mr. R.N.Mawer
Mr. H. Brocklesby
Mr. Allis
Mr. J. Stanley
Mr. A. Phillips
Mr. C.D.Evans
Mr. J. Phillips
Capt. Bryant
Mr. W.H.Dixon
Mr. G. Tickler
Canon Knight
Mr. D. Marshall
Sir E. Sleight
Mr. Roll
Col. Dr. H.Ward

A Women's Section was formed around the same time and proved to be a great asset to the Branch.

Ass Secretary - Mr. Halford

Executive Committee
Mr. Pacey
Mr. Clifton
Mr. Lewis
Mr. Taylor
Mr. Dunkin
Mr. Brannam
Mr. J.Lowe
Mr. Johnson
Mr. Kennedy
Mr. C.Fox

Padre - Canon H.W.Knight

It was agreed to hold monthly meetings on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The first executive meeting to be held in the Temperance Hall on 4th May 1938. A Garden Fete, Gymkhana and Sports were arranged for 27th August 1938 to raise funds for a Standard. This to be held at 'Kingsfield' the home of Major & Mrs. Bainbridge. Entrance fee 6d, children half price. The amount raised at this event was £83.6.0d plus £11.19.0d for the Standard. A donation of £4 was given to the Women's Section.

The new Standard to be dedicated on Sunday 23rd September 1938. Mr. Johnson was elected Standardbearer and escorts Mr. J. Lowe & Mr. Rudd.

The first Remembrance Day service with the new Standard was held in St. Margaret's, Laceby on Sunday November 13th. On November 11th the Standard had been paraded at the Gaiety Ballroom in Grimsby.

5.1.39 - 1st Branch dinner. On the menu was beef and rabbit pie. Canon Knight said it would be in order to serve beer. This was supplied by Major Bainbridge. Graham Brothers were to bake the pies.

The death of the Branch Treasurer was recorded in June 1939. 1940 Whist Drives and collecting boxes were organised to raise cash to enable parcels to be sent to the armed forces overseas. This was an on-going scheme.

Local Defence Corps The British Legion was asked to help raise volunteers for this Corps mainly from ex-service persons. The Branch Chairman Major Bainbridge was now serving in the army.

Hire of room for meetings - It was agreed in order to save money meetings were to be held in private houses. (Room hire for the Temperance Hall was 3/- per meeting).

1941 - Many functions were organised to raise funds for a 'Comforts Fund'. Village lads wrote back expressing their thanks .

Mr. Burley offered his house to the Legion in appreciation of what the Legion had done for him. The house was in a condemned situation and the Legion felt the site should be cleared and sold to adjacent property owner and the money be given to Mr. Burley ashe was in hospital. (This is part of the site on which our H.Q. stands).

1942 - It was reported with regret that the V/Chairman Mr. W.H. Allison had died. Mr. R.N.Mawer was elected V/Chairman. Mr. Halford the secretary.

1943 -  The death was reported of Mr. Halford.

A sports day raised £60 for Branch Funds. This was the result of hard work by Women's Section and Branch.

Mr. Mawer had purchased the site next to the Primitive Chapel on Caistor Road and intended to give it to the Branch to use as a H.Q. A most generous gift. The November meeting was held in the new H.Q. (A hut on the site). Branch Padre Canon H.W.Knight died in December. A building fund was opened with a view to building a new H.Q. after the war.

1944 - A great success; this year's Gymkhana raised £401.3s.1d; expenses £96.19s 8d. This was held at Mr. Mawer's farm.

The Legion asked the Parish Council if they would organise a welcome home fund for returning servicemen and women. This they agreed and Mr. Lowe was to represent the Legion.

Branch Chairman Major Bainbridge was killed in action in Italy on September 9th 1944. Mr. R.N.Mawer was elected Chairman.

1945 - The Gymkhana again was a success & a profit of £348 was realised. The total in Branch account was £955.

1946 - The Gymkhana raised £250.

The site of the H.Q.was not suitable for a new building as it had access on to a trunk road (Caistor Road). Mr. Mawer offered to buy the site back. The new site to be purchased was in Stockwell (the present site).

The new Standard Bearer was Mr. G. Chambers.

1947 - The new H.Q. commenced. The Branch to purchase a billiard table from the NAAFI. The furniture from the Scout Hut could be used for the time being. It was agreed to ask Col. Sutton Nelthorpe to open the new H.Q. Club formed and the following committee elected.

President - Mr. J.W.Stanley

V/President - Mr. R.W.Isaac

Secretary - Mr. Clyfton

Treasurer - Mr. L. Smith

Committee members were: Mr. Maltby, Mr. Johnson, Mr. C.E.Waterman, Mr. C. Fox, Mr. W. Ashby, Mr. G. Chambers, Mr. R. Brookes, Mr. T. Lewis, Mr. F. Curtis, Mr. Plumtree, Mr. Kirkby.

1948 - A Sports Club was formed from a loan of £20 from the Branch.

Chair: John Holland. Mr. Chambers attended the National Conference. It was agreed to have cinema shows once a week for a 4 week experimental period. The Branch formed a sub-committee to administer an immediate assistance fund.

A Sports Gala raised £111.8s.

In the first 10 years of the Branch's existance, in my opinion, a lot of credit for it's success must go to Mr. R.N.Mawer who never received the acknowledgement he deserved, also to Mr. S. Baxter. In fact to all the committees who worked very hard to raise monies to enable us to have a H.Q., some of who never saw their efforts come to fruition.