WAR veteran Monty Seymour is heartbroken the committee running the ex-serviceman’s club has decided to sever its ties with the Royal British Legion.
Paul Potter, the chairman of the High Wycombe & District Royal British Legion Ex-Servicemen’s Club, told club members in a letter seen by the Free Press that it would not be renewing its Royal British Legion licence.
He said the club has been under financial threat for some time and the RBL licence had been a “drain on the club’s resources”.
The move would allow it to become a ‘viable social club in its own right without the constraints of Royal British Legion rules’, the letter adds.
All ex-servicemen’s club members have been invited to attend a meeting at the Legion Hall at 8pm on Friday to discuss the matter.
But Mr Potter said “the decision has already been made” by the committee voted to act on the behalf of club members.
Mr Seymour, who fought in the Second World War and is President of both the club and the RBL branch, called the decision “awful”.
The Wycombe legend, who turns 100 in May, said: “It’s heartbreaking.
“The founders of the legion told us youngsters to look after it and keep it going – they would be turning in their graves if they could see this.”
RBL's Haig House HQ said it had not yet been notified about the club's plan.
Kevin Taylor, chairman of the Wycombe RBL branch, said he had not received any official communication from the club about its proposals – other than the letter which he only received as he is a member of the club.
He said “the committee is not bigger than the club” – pointing to a vote taken in July in which the club failed to convince 75 percent or more of its members to disaffiliate from the Royal British Legion.
Currently, people have to be a member of both the club and the branch, which organises the Remembrance Day service and the Poppy Appeal.
Legion Hall in St Mary Street, High Wycombe, was bought by the British Legion for £800 in about 1932.
The club declined to comment until after it had held its meeting.