The Royal British Legion (RBL) in Stafford were presented with a scroll from the Mayor to mark the granting of the Freedom of the Borough to the organisation.
Stafford Borough Council granted ‘Freedom’ to the Legion in recognition of its services to past and present members of the armed forces, veterans, and their families.
At the council meeting on Tuesday (23 November) the Mayor, Councillor Tony Nixon, presented the ‘Freedom’ scroll to George Wright, the Honorary Chairman of the Stafford Branch of the RBL, to commemorate the award.
The Stafford branch is celebrating its centenary year having been established in July 1921 and is one of the oldest in the county. It provides financial, social, and emotional care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces, past and present, and their families.
The council has the power to confer honorary ‘Freedom’ to people or organisations that have given eminent services to the borough. The proposal to honour the Legion was unanimously agreed by councillors earlier this year – with council leader, Patrick Farrington, describing it as a “fitting honour.”
Councillor Farrington, said: “The RBL has been a wonderful support to so many of the serving and former servicemen and women who have made our county town their home.
“This is a fitting tribute. An opportunity for us to provide a lasting reminder of our gratitude for all they do which benefits the armed forces veterans, their families, and our town.”
He added: “Our councillors voted unanimously to bestow this honour on the RBL in the summer which clearly demonstrates the warmth and appreciation we have for them and for their work in Stafford.
“This presentation was especially poignant as it takes place with the organisation celebrating 100 years in our county town.”
The leather-backed scroll is inscribed with the citation describing the award and features the borough Coat of Arms and the organisation’s membership badge. An entry was also made in the Freedom ‘roll of honour’ book.
The Reverend John Davies, on behalf of the Stafford branch, said: “It is a great honour you have bestowed upon us, and we accept it with great pride."
Other notable recipients of the award include the 22 Signal Regiment of the British Army and Tactical Supply Wing of the RAF which are based in Stafford. The last person to receive the honour from the borough council was Olympic gold-medal canoeist, Joe Clarke in 2016.
Press Release No 5835