The Royal British Legion Swiss Branch

What is the Royal British Legion ?

The Royal British Legion, was founded in 1921 on the initiative of Field Marshal Earl Haig following the dreadful aftermath of the First World War which left thousands injured and scarred by their experiences. For those who returned home leaving millions dead, particularly on the battlefields of Northern France and Belgium, the world would never be the same. Haig’s aim was to provide dignity and self-respect through employment, particularly for the disabled.


There have been many casualties in conflicts since the two World Wars, some of them resulting from United Nations peace keeping operations. The Legion is today the United Kingdom’s leading charity safeguarding the welfare, interests and memory of those who have served in the Armed Forces and their dependants. The Legion currently spends more than £73 million pounds providing welfare services and relieving distress. Support is given at every level – from advice about benefits to grants for household appliances, as well as the provision of nursing homes.


The Legion is largely funded by its annual Poppy Appeal which raised £48 million in 2015. The rest comes from legacies, special events, corporate donations, sponsorship, trading and direct mail.


Who can be a member of the Royal British Legion?

The Legion welcomes men and women of all ages as members. Anyone can join whether or not they have a connection with the Armed Forces. All we ask is that you are in sympathy with the aims and ideals of the Legion. Our motto is “Service Not Self” There are currently 370,000 members in the United Kingdom and a further 11,000 overseas.


The Royal British Legion Swiss Branch

The Swiss Branch was created in 1947 by British and Commonwealth ex- Servicemen and women whocame to live and work in Switzerland after the Second World War. The Branch today has around 100 members who participate in social activities such as the Spring Luncheon and an Annual Dinner in the autumn often with a distinguished guest speaker. The Annual General Meeting takes place at the same time. There are also joint social activities with other British associations such as the Royal Air Forces Association Swiss Branch and the British Residents’ Association of Switzerland. The Branch participates in Remembrance Ceremonies, particularly in November, ANZAC Day in April organized alternately by the Australian and New Zealand Consulates General and Victory in Europe Day in May in association with French veteran organizations.


Much effort is devoted to organizing the annual Poppy Appeal with a team of Regional Organizers throughout Switzerland. The Swiss Branch is one of the overseas branches which has consistently collected the most money for the Appeal. On average, over CHF 30,000 is collected annually, most of which is sent to assist those in need in the United Kingdom but there are also beneficiaries in Switzerland.


What is the membership cost?

There is a one off entrance fee of CHF 10 and an annual subscription of CHF 50. If requested a membership badge can be provided for CHF 10. The bulk of the subscription is sent to the UK to maintain the Royal British Legion’s administrative structure but in return, members receive an attractive magazine at regular intervals.


Why not join us?

For further information, contact the RBL Swiss Branch Membership Secretary, James Pearsall using the contact information box on this website or the following address : info [at] britishlegionswitzerland [dot] ch


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