THE motto ‘lest we forget’ is synonymous with the Royal British Legion but the Downley standard managed to slip the legion’s mind for almost 17 years.

The Downley branch of the Royal British Legion closed in 1996 which also marked the last time its standard had been seen by the public.

But it was reeled out for a short ceremony in the village on Sunday after it was discovered in the loft of the High Wycombe branch by shocked members.

High Wycombe Branch Vice Chairman Kevin Taylor, who uncovered the standard, said: “We were sorting through things following the Poppy Appeal period when we came across a folded standard.

“This is obviously unusual as whenever a standard is taken out of use, they are laid up in a place of worship. So imagine our surprise when it turned out to the Standard for the old Downley branch.

“It’s not clear why the standard was never laid up properly but we’re going to do that now.”

RBL standards are ‘laid up’ in places of worship as they are blessed before they are used by clubs.

Councillors, RBL members and residents attended the special service at St James Church on Sunday. The standard has now been sent off to be framed before it is permanently put on display at the church in Plomer Hill.

The RBL is planning a special unveiling of the standard to tie in with a goodbye to the Rev. Nicky Skipworth, who is leaving the church in March.

The club is keen to hear from former Downley branch members ahead of the ceremony. Email or call 01494 448800.