No incentive to join the Legion

PUBLISHED: 16:07 21 December 2006 | UPDATED: 13:42 04 May 2010

DURING the run-up to Remembrance Sunday, the local papers carried reports from the chairman of the city of Ely branch of the Royal British Legion bemoaning the fact that they were short of officers for the branch and were struggling to recruit younger new

DURING the run-up to Remembrance Sunday, the local papers carried reports from the chairman of the city of Ely branch of the Royal British Legion bemoaning the fact that they were short of officers for the branch and were struggling to recruit younger new members.

At the parade, the branch refused to allow Mercers Troop (7 Para Royal Horse Artillery) to parade with us to the cathedral.

These young men, just back from active service where they suffered casualties which included deaths, had travelled from Colchester to support the Isle of Ely and the Cambridge branch of the Royal Artillery Association to whom they are affiliated.

When I asked why they could not parade with us, I was told "we don't have them on this parade, they can join the one after the service".

I took this to mean that the first part of the parade (to the cathedral) was a civic parade, but if this is so then why doesn't the mayor thank the participants of the parade as the elected representative of the citizens of Ely, rather than the president of the Ely branch of the Royal British Legion who only represents his branch.

If this is the usual attitude of the Ely branch is it any wonder that the branch has difficulty in recruiting members? I don't suppose those young men felt inclined to join the Royal British Legion after being told they couldn't parade with us.

And from the Cambridge County Committee Royal British Legion and the National Committee Royal British Legion, a deadly silence.

RALPH KEATING

(ex-gunner)

High Street

Sutton

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