Remembrance Parade organisation needs more members
Over the last few years, those attending Marston Moretaine’s Remembrance Parade has grown in numbers. The Parade is a chance for residents to remember all those who have lost their lives on active service to the Crown.
The Parade is organised by the Royal British Legion’s Marston Moreteyne Branch, and it starts to arrange the event in September.
Eric Robinson MBE, Royal British Legion Bedfordshire’s county chairman and Marston Moreteyne Branch secretary, said:
“At a branch level, planning involves not only British Legion members, but also people such as local councillors and the clergy.”
Fall in membership is a nationwide issue
Although more people are attending Remembrance each year, the branch is suffering from a drop in members.
The drop in numbers isn’t unique to Marston, Eric said:
“Across the country, the British Legion has lost around 30,000 members over the last ten years.”
He added that this is down to a combination of many factors, one of which is older members dying off and not being replaced.
“We haven’t been able to attract younger members who could bring new ideas and energy to our branch.”
This may be down to a lack of understanding of who can be a member. People may believe that only people who have served in the armed forces can become members. Eric said:
“This hasn’t been the case for around six years. Membership is open to anyone over the age of 16.”
A local casualty to low membership numbers was the Wootton sub branch. Its remaining members were transferred to Marston a couple of years ago.
Membership at Marston costs £19, which includes a branch admin fee.
The branch meets once a month
The Marston Moreteyne Branch meets at Manor Court Community Room, Banks Close, Marston Moretaine on the second Tuesday of each month at 2.30 pm in the summer months and 7.30pm in the winter months.
Contact information can be found on the branch’s webpage
Across the Vale, there is also a branch at Cranfield, Eric said:
“Cranfield Branch is more successful [than others in the area], due largely to the excellent leadership of the current Chairman, Mr John Seamark.”
Marston Moretaine’s Remembrance Parade
On Remembrance Sunday a service at St Mary the Virgin Church will start at 10:30. There will then be a march to the War Memorial at the junction of Station Road and Bedford Road.
This year’s Remembrance Sunday also marks the centenary of the end of the WW1. The Legion is using social media to help remember, and you can join in the conversation by using #thankyou100 or #poppyappeal when you post your thanks.