A NEW branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) has formally been dedicated.

A branch of the charity has now been set up in Ludgershall after more than a year of work to get the institution up and running.

On Sunday, 8 October, the Ludgershall branch and its new standard, received in September this year, were dedicated at St James Church by Reverend Claire Maxim, nearly 14 months on since the idea of the branch was thought up by Bob Dance and Maurice Betteridge.

The pair are both ex-servicemen and have long been involved in the RBL’s Poppy Appeal - indeed, they were involved when Ludgershall won the Wiltshire-wide Colonel Tempest Cup for a sustained increase in collections for the appeal from 2011 to 2013, even when the town did not have a RBL branch to coordinate the collection.

As a result of this work, they wanted to be able to help further.

Now, with the launch of the branch, the aim is to help veterans and others who have fallen on hard times.

The branch meets at Ludgershall Sports and Social Club, in Tidworth Road, on the fourth Thursday of every month at 7.30pm with anyone interested invited to attend when they wish to.

The new standard which the branch proudly displayed at the dedication was funded with the help of Ludgershall Town Council, the Tidworth Area Board, the Andover branch of the Freemasons and other groups.