A History of YALDING, Kent, England

This organisation was formed for the welfare of ex-servicemen and women, founded from the amalgamation of rival voluntary societies in 1921, largely through the efforts of Douglas Haig.
There are no records to date that say when the Yalding branch started, but the Legion Annual midsummer Hospital Church Parade of 1936 realised a collection of £ 20 3s., from which £ 5 5s. was sent to each of the West Kent Hospital, the Ophthalmic Hospital, and the Local Nursing Association. Led by the East Peckham and Capel Branch bands, the parade included several local parish branches, plus the Yalding Oddfellows and Boy Scouts, who all attended with their standards and banners. Starting from the war memorial, they marched via the Anchor to Laddingford and back to the Parish church. The church was practically filled, at which time the pews went from the pulpit back to the font. After an address by the Legions Chaplain the Rev'd J R Hale, they returned to the memorial where further selections were played by the two bands.
Regular meetings, an annual dinner, plus the Rememberance Day observance were the constant pattern of the Legion throughout the years.
In 1962 the Yalding Legion Standard was at the Albert Hall, along with the Kent County Standard, for that year's National Festival of Remembrance. A few years earlier the Legion had been in danger of folding up, but it was revived by Mr Jack Sadler, who became the Chairman and Standard bearer and went to represent the local branch.
Over the years the Annual Remembrance Service has had a similar format, but with the occasional difference such as in 1968. On that Sunday the 10th of November, a church service commenced at 10.45, but the parade had started at 10.15 from Lyngs Close, led by a band of the Wadhurst Salvation Army. Afterwards a short service was held at the War Memorial at 12.10. At that time and for many years the Legion wreath was laid by its President, Air Vice Marshall A E Borton.
Women's Section.
This group started in 1958, but the first published record is in 1968 when they held a successful harvest supper and dance in aid of the Earl Haig Fund, to which the dance added £ 22 towards a total of £ 134. At their A.G.M. on November 4th that year there is reference to Mrs Sadler being elected Life Vice-President in recognition of her ten years work as Chairman and Poppy Organiser, which gives a starting date of 1958. The President for 1968 was Mrs Fisher and Chairman Mrs Kent.
Monthly meetings were arranged with talks covering a wide range of subjects from holidays, animal welfare to the plight of children as described by the NSPCC.