The Royal British Legion (RBL) is marking its centenary this year with branches in Sussex taking part in a ‘Torch of Remembrance’ relay across the county.
The Royal British Legion, as the nation’s leading armed forces charity, provides lifelong support for the armed forces community: serving men and women, veterans, and their families.
The torch relay is a “rolling ceremony” which started in Rye on Monday 23 August and is travelling through eight other towns – Robertsbridge, Polegate, Hailsham, Seaford, East Grinstead, Horsham, Storrington, Shoreham – to end in the Witterings on Saturday.
Rye Royal British Legion organised the start of the commemoration in St Mary’s, that brought together three groups: Royal British Legion from across Sussex supported by Rye Sea Cadets, the mayor and council as lead for the community and St Mary’s the church.
After a colourful and traditional parade of veterans, their standards and town council from the town hall to the church, the service led by legion chaplain, Father Jim Horton, dedicated a specially commissioned torch. Then a veteran, Colonel Anthony Kimber, president Rye RBL, transferred it to the Lord Warden’s Sea Cadet, Rylan Carter. This symbolised the passing of the flame of Remembrance from the old to the young.
Officer commanding Rye Sea Cadets, Phil Whiteman supported the event by providing standard bearers, escorts and specially badged cadets who are appointed by the Lord Warden and the mayor.
President of Sussex RBL Jean Rogers and her officers took part in the occasion. During the commemoration, the mayor of Rye, Councillor Rebekah Gilbert led the hymn singing.
At the end, chair, Sussex RBL, Ray Collins presented local chairman Neale East with a commemorative certificate to mark the event.
Colonel Anthony Kimber said: “The legion believes that it is important that communities continue to come together to remember the sacrifice of those who have died in the armed service of their country. This is particularly poignant at this time with all that is going on in Afghanistan and many are reflecting on the extreme challenges of operational service.”
Martin Bruce provided organ music.
Image Credits: kt Bruce .