At this time of year in the UK, Europe and across the world, people stop to remember those who have died in conflicts around the world throughout our history. This MBMG Update serves only to highlight the remarkable contribution made by the Royal British Legion Thailand towards helping ex-Service people and their families. A couple weeks ago was Remembrance Sunday, where we mark the point at 11am, on the 11th day, in the 11th month of 1918, the guns fell silent in Europe, and the First World War came to an end.
The RBLT was formed in 2007 and now boasts over three hundred members throughout the country.
MBMG’s Graham MacDonald and members of the Royal British Legion Thailand meet with Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP.
Below are some interesting facts and statistics relating to the Legion:
* The Royal British Legion safeguards the welfare, interests and memory of serving and ex-Service people and their families and dependants.
* The Legion was founded in 1921.
* Some 9.5 million people in the UK and around the world are eligible to ask for its help. This also includes Gurkhas living in South East Asia as well as minority groups such as the Karen, Kachin and Shan peoples who fought for Britain in WWII.
* The Legion is one of the UK’s largest membership organisations, with around 360,000 members – including the Women’s Section. Anyone can be a member, ex-Service or not.
* People as young as 17.5 years can be sent on active service, so veterans are often much younger than people realize.
* There has only been one year (1968) since the Second World War when a British Service person hasn’t been killed on active service.
* Each year the Legion answers thousands of calls for help to its helpline – Legionline.
* It helps with a huge range of issues, including counselling, job retraining, skills assessment, getting the right pensions and benefits, money and career advice, welfare grants, pilgrimages to war graves, convalescent and nursing care, and home and hospital visits.
* The Legion has close links to many other charities, organisations and trusts, enabling it to draw on the best resources and expertise, and to refer people to those best equipped to help them.
* The Legion will be needed for as long as people continue to be affected by conflict. It does not advocate war but is simply there to support those who have been prepared to make a personal sacrifice through serving in the British Armed Forces.
* More than 30 million Remembrance poppies, 500,000 poppies of other types, 5 million remembrance petals, 100,000 wreaths and sprays, 750,000 Remembrance Crosses and other Remembrance items are made at the Poppy Factory in Richmond, Surrey, each year.
* More than 70% of the workers at the Poppy Factory are disabled or suffer from chronic illness. The Poppy Factory was designed to offer jobs to such people and its remit remains the same today.
* The Royal British Legion Thailand (RBLT) also supports the Thai Veterans Hospitals.
* Just as importantly, RBLT provides help and support for the families of servicemen who live in Thailand and can no longer look after themselves adequately.
* There are four areas in Thailand where the RBLT is based – Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Korat and Pattaya. There are qualified welfare workers in each of these placed thus allowing the Legion to cover the entire country.
If you are interested in joining this well known organisation then please contact Bert Elson, Secretary RBLT, on secretary @rblthailand.com. Please remember, you do not have to have served in the armed forces to be a member.
The Royal British Legion Thailand was honoured to meet the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP during his recent visit to Thailand. As you can see from the picture below, all were displaying their Remembrance Poppy’s with enormous pride.
And, finally, please remember to buy a poppy this month.