The Royal British Legion Village, originally named the Preston Hall Colony, was founded after the First World War to help gassed and injured soldiers on their discharge from the Preston Hall hospital. It was the centre of a small farming community. In 1921, when The British Legion was founded, it became one of the first branches. Later, in 1925, it became the British Legion Village branch.
Over the years a thriving community has grown up helping all disabled veterans who either came from the hospital or moved into the area. In 1972 the Poppy Appeal headquarters of what was now called The Royal British Legion moved to the village. Now it is one of the main hubs of Legion life and an industrial complex houses Royal British Legion industries.
The branch has supplied several national chairmen of the Legion, notably Lt Col Sir C Gordon-Larking and Mr C Busby.
The Union Flag
The branch Union Flag was originally flown at the HQ of Field Marshall Earl Haig at the Chateau Beaurepaire at Montreil-Sur-Mer, in 1918. (Earl Haig later went on to found the Poppy Appeal - originally called the Earl Haig Fund - and was one of those responsible for founding the Royal British Legion in 1921). The flag was then used as the first Union Flag at the Cenotaph on the first Remembrance Day which was always then held on the 11th November at 11am. It was then acquired by Captain W W Needham of the Exeter Branch of the Royal British Legion and presented to the HQ of the Royal British Legion.
Its history over the following 50 odd years seems to have been lost and the next time it surfaced was five years ago, hidden away in the Poppy Appeal warehouse. The Chairman of this branch persuaded the present Head of Poppy Appeal, Tony Davis, to loan this historic exhibit to the Capel Morris RBL Village Club to be put on permanent display.