AN ARMED forces charity will be hosting a special celebration to mark its centenary.

The Walton Royal British Legion branch held a ceremony to mark its 100th birthday on Thursday, May 25, at its Vicarage Lane headquarters.

Malcom Taylor, Essex county chairman for the Royal British Legion, attended the event to hand a certificate of the centenary to branch president Maureen Ambrose and club committee member Mary Peck.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Speech - Trevor Smith addresses the crowd at the ceremonySpeech - Trevor Smith addresses the crowd at the ceremony (Image: Walton Royal British Legion)

Trevor Smith, branch chairman, said: “The service was well attended and we had our branch padre, vicar Peter Edwards of All Saints Church, come along and he gave a little speech as well.

“The event was well received overall by our members, which was good.”

The Walton Royal British Legion is a charity and also has a private members club that trades under the Royal British Legion licence.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Holy - Vicar Peter Edwards of All Saints ChurchHoly - Vicar Peter Edwards of All Saints Church (Image: Walton Royal British Legion)

Two separate committees run the club and the charity, but the entire branch meets every second Tuesday at 1.30pm.

Trevor added: “In terms of club changes over the years, we’re not getting as many veterans as we used to which is a shame.

“I suppose this is a characteristic of all branch clubs, but we have continued to be successful and members of the branch are joining the private members club so we’re quite healthy in that respect.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Handover - Malcolm Taylor hands a certificate to Mary PeckHandover - Malcolm Taylor hands a certificate to Mary Peck (Image: Walton Royal British Legion)

The branch was formed in January 1923 and is holding several events to celebrate its centenary year.

Walton’s Royal British Legion will host a concert at Millenium Square, High Street, on June 24, between 12noon and 4pm with Tendring Brass Band and other entertainment and stalls.

The event will take place on Armed Forces Day, as the club’s way of thanking Walton residents and businesses for a century of support.

Trevor added: “It’s a very friendly family club.

“I believe we’re in excess of 500 members - it’s the only club around so we’ve got the advantage of no competition as far as private members clubs are concerned.”

For more information on Walton’s Royal British Legion and the events, call 01255 674153.