The town will remember

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The War Memorial at St Mary's

Rye will remember its fallen on Sunday November 8 at St Mary’s. The parade, under the general direction of the Parade Commander, will form up at Adams at 10:35am and it will then march up East Street  to pause in front of the Town Hall where the Mayor  will “take the salute”.  The parade will then proceed to St Mary’s Church for the service at 10:55am.

The service will be followed by a ceremony around the war memorial  in the churchyard, where a one minute silence will be observed. This will then be followed by the laying of wreaths and crosses. Members of Rye Sea Cadets will reading the names of those from Rye who fell in 1915.

As seating will be at a premium the congregation should enter the Church by the North Door by 10:35am.

The Rye Branch of the Royal British Legion was formally constituted as a Royal British Legion Branch in January 1925 and a committee of local ex-servicemen was formed to open a club. They rented two rooms and a large cellar and the entrance was by an outside stone stairway.

The British Legion Club opened in March 1928 in premises which were previously part of the Eagle Brewery in King Street (formerly J.Bowen’s Landgate brewery). Alfred Leney & Co of Dover acquired the Eagle Brewery around 1896 and it was subsequently bought by Fremlins before closing in the 1920s. In 1928 it was then owned by ‘Dapper’ Martin, and was used for storing and repairing fishing nets.

Among the stalwarts who worked so hard with the building restoration were E.H.Swaine Sr and Jr, H.Hobbs, H.Deeprose and A.Kempton. The downstairs room became the bar with the billiards room upstairs.  The table, presented by Colonel Rigden to the club, was used until it shut.  In the early 1930s another room was rented, which became the upper lounge.

Membership grew as men came out of the Services at the end of the Second World War and the heirs of Dapper Martin decided to sell the premises in the early 1950s.  The Committee determined to ask for loans from the members to buy it and succeeded.

The largest loan was £25.  Fundraising started with the introduction of a gaming machine and all the loans were repaid within two years. As membership grew, there was a demand for more snooker facilities and in the early 1970s a garage underneath the premises was converted for this use.

Following the Club’s disaffiliation by the Royal British Legion, the Branch moved from the premises in 2006, met for a short while in the Union Inn in East Street, then from 2008 met in the Benson Room of the George Hotel in the High Street, where it still meets today.