The two standards of Longridge Royal British Legion and Women’s Section have been laid-up, marking an historical moment in the history of the town.
Both standards have been paraded at town and national events for decades, and for stalwart members of the former Longridge Royal British Legion and Women’s Section, the laying-up of their two standards was a sad, yet poignant moment.
But all were happy they will now be displayed for all to see, at Longridge High School.
The Longridge Royal British Legion (men’s section) folded five years ago, and the Women’s Section earlier this year.
Royal British Legion rules state if standards are not laid-up, they must be burnt and the ashes scattered on a War Memorial.
But Longridge’s last Royal British Legion chairman and secretary Ken Brierley, who was the town’s standard bearer for 18 years, and others wished to see them laid-up and a special laying-up ceremony has been held at the school where headteacher Jane Green said pupils already have a good understanding of the Royal British Legion, its work and the annual Poppy Appeal.
Mrs Green told all those attending the ceremony it was a “massive privilege” to be asked to look after the standards.
The two standards will shortly be displayed, crossed together, in the foyer of Longridge High School where pupils and staff will be reminded daily of the sacrifices made by so many, as will visitors to the school.
Mrs Green says: “We are proud and honoured and it is a massive privilege for the school to be asked to look after the standards for the town’s Royal British Legion. All our pupils understand the huge sacrifices made by both men and women in wars and conflicts over the years.”
Mr Brierley adds: “I think it is nice to know these standards will be laid up somewhere safe.”
The school hall was filled with members and former members of the Longridge Royal British Legion and Women’s section and others associated with the Legion together with pupils and staff from the high school and St Cecilia’s who are members of Army and Air Cadets, with officers.
Longridge Air Cadet William Newman carried the men’s standard and Preston Army Cadet Jake Molloy carried that of the women’s section, accompanied by standard escorts Nathan Homer, of Longridge Air Cadets, Oliver Kerrigan, of Longridge Army Cadets, Samuel Eidsforth, of Longridge Air Cadets and Joshua Barber, of Preston Army Cadets; all pupils at the high school or St Cecilia’s.
Minister, the Rev John Ball, who led the laying-up ceremony, said: “It is lovely to have the standards preserved within the community and nice to have them in the school as a reminder to the younger generation and it shows that we respect those who gave their lives and the care of the legacy of those who are still suffering.
“We hope in the future, war will cease.”