The Branch was formed in 2003 when Alasdair Johnstone moved to the region. He enjoys his golf and joined Château des Forges Golf Club in the Deux-Sèvres department. Amongst his fellow British members he found several ex-servicemen and learnt of the widespread ex-service presence within the British community. Being at that time the current President and previous founding Chairman of St Cleer Branch of the Royal British Legion in Cornwall, he commenced recruiting members into the Royal British Legion through that Branch, originally planning to establish a sub-branch here in France.
Now with sufficient members and unanimous encouragement from the St Cleer Branch, Cornwall County and the Royal British Legion Head Quarters in London, it was decided to form a full Branch.
With sufficient volunteers from the 20 founding members to form a committee this was duly resolved at our first meeting, held at the Golf Club on 8th February 2007, with the name of Linazay Poitou-Charentes Branch; the name Linazay being chosen because of the earlier and continuing support received from that commune. Alasdair Johnstone volunteered and was elected as the new Branch President.
The georgraphical boundaries of the branch cover five Departments, Charente (16), Charente-Maritime (17), Deux Sèvres (79), Vendée (85) and Vienne (86). The initial 18 months saw the Branch grow in strength not only with new members but also by our presence at ceremonies in the local surrounding area. In October 2008 we had our own Standard which was dedicated in the Church at Chaunay in the Vienne department.
The Branch now has over 80 members, an active Welfare Committee and caseworks helping ex-service personnel. Over 4,500 Euros was collected for the annual Poppy Appeal in 2009. For further information about the Branch go to www.rblpoitou-charentes.fr