Freedom honour for British Legion in Stafford

The Royal British Legion in Stafford has been granted Freedom of the Borough by councillors in the town.

Stafford Borough Councillors unanimously voted in favour of the proposal by council leader, Patrick Farrington.

A report to council said the Freedom of the Borough was in recognition of its services to past and present members of the armed forces, veterans, and their families.

Councillor Farrington told the meeting at Rising Brook Community Church this week (Tuesday 20 July) that the granting of the Freedom was a “fitting honour” for an organisation who had been a great support to many of the serving and former servicemen and women who had made Stafford their home.

The Stafford Branch of the Legion (RBL), which is celebrating its centenary year, will be presented with the leather-backed Freedom scroll commemorating the award. The branch was established in July 1921 and is one of the oldest in Staffordshire. It provides financial, social and emotional care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces, past and present, and their families.

President of the Stafford Branch RBL, Chas Dale, said: “On behalf of the Stafford Branch, Royal British Legion it is my privilege as president to publicly thank the Borough of Stafford for the truly great honour they have accorded the Branch by conferring the Honorary Freedom of Stafford Borough upon them.

“This is a significant year in our Branch history as we were formed on the 8th July 1921 and this award is acknowledgement of the dedication and devotion shown by all of the selfless volunteers who have diligently supported the Stafford Branch over 100 extremely productive years.

“Many Armed Forces Veterans and their families living in Stafford have benefitted from the support given to them by these amazing Branch Members and we are all truly grateful for the honour bestowed upon us.  On behalf of the Branch and its members I thank the Worshipful the Mayor of Stafford Borough and the Borough Council Members for such a fine tribute that will make our 100th Anniversary year, even more memorable.”

The council has the power to confer honorary ‘Freedom’ to people or organisations that have given eminent services to the borough and requires two-thirds of the councillors to agree to it.

The last person to receive the honour from the borough council was Olympic gold-medal canoeist, Joe Clarke in 2016.

Press Release No 5789