Kenilworth British Legion fearing for future after membership plummets

Veterans at last year's Remembrance Sunday parade in Kenilworth.
Veterans at last year's Remembrance Sunday parade in Kenilworth.

Members of the Kenilworth branch of the Royal British Legion are concerned its future after numbers have plummeted from around 150 to just 23 in the space of four years.

The decline began in 2014, when the Kenilworth branch split from the former British Legion club in Albion Street in an effort to keep the building open. It is currently known as The Copper House Club.

But many people had joined the Legion simply to be a member of the club. When the split happened, many did not want to be a member of the Legion.

As time has gone on, membership has continued to fall, prompting fears over the future of the branch.

Mick Smith, the secretary of the Kenilworth branch, said: "It's really bad. If the numbers drop like the way they have done, we're not going to have any members at all.

"The branch would then have to dissolve. I don't see any way forward unless we do something."

Mick said the lack of members in Kenilworth was surprising considering the amount of support remembrance services receive every year in the town.

He added: "There's an awful lot of ex-servicemen who line the roads during remembrance. You see so many with medal ribbons that are not part of the group.

"It'd be nice to see them join. There's no reason why they shouldn't."

The branch will be holding an open morning on Saturday September 22 from 10.30 until noon at the Kenilworth's Holiday Inn to try and promote the Legion and encourage more people to join up.

Mick said the Legion supports former serving members and their families who may be going through tough times.

All are welcome to attend the open morning, and prospective members need not have served in the armed forces.

Mick added: "The Legion is not only for families with relations who fought or died in the First World War, but for those who have served right up until the present and for anyone interested in supporting the veterans and their families."