ROYAL British Legion branches in Flintshire are under threat almost 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.
Branches of the RBL are preparing themselves for next year’s commemorative event – but some are resigned to seeing their numbers diminish.
While current members gear up for next month’s Armistice Day remembrance services ahead of the centenary in 2014, branch chairmen admit they fear for the future unless new members come forward.
Sidney Hall, chairman of the RBL’s Connay’s Quay and Shotton branch said: “The branch is struggling, just like many others. It’s more or less defunct.
“We do fear for its future. The club is almost finished.
“Young people are less interested in joining but we’d welcome anyone who wanted to get on board. We only have five people left.”
Mr Hall said that while the branch is waiting for the go-ahead from the RBL headquarters in London regarding preparations for next year, the organisation for this November’s event has been going well.
Other Flintshire branches are also feeling the loss of members and Dennis Parry, chairman of the branch at Penyffordd, said: “A lot of Legions are struggling and many are closing – but we’re hanging on.
“Every year is important because it means young people in the village learn to understand what happened and it helps to link the generations.
“That is important and it might see them keep the RBL alive in the future.”
Jim Tunney, chairman of Buckley RBL, said the Cenotaph in the town would be moved if the Legion HQ agreed to sell off its building on Precinct Way.
Councillors in Buckley are hoping a new supermarket could be built on the otherwise disused site. He said any move before next year’s First World War centenary would be unlikely however, and told the Leader: “If and when the RBL club is sold, then the memorial will be moved.
“We’ve looked at three possible sites but I doubt any move would happen in the next 12 months.”
Mr Tunney also said this year’s Remembrance Day would be extra special for Buckley as its standard- bearer will be carrying the Welsh Standard as well as the town’s.
Bearer Gary Walsh from Leeswood won the Welsh standard-bearer’s competition earlier this year, allowing Buckley to parade the Welsh standard on Remembrance Day for the first time.