Thirty two ex-servicemen of World War I who felt that the spirit of comradeship, the close and kindly ties of active service should be continued met in the Forest Town Hall in August 1929. They applied to become a component part of the British Empire Service Legion and were given a charter, Number 176 of the Canadian Legion on July 23, 1930.
The Officers elected at the first meeting were:
President – A. E. Morris
Secretary – D. L. Scott
Treasurer – G. F. Steele
Other members accepting the charter:
L. F. Heanson
A. H. Gale
R. L. Walton
The first club rooms of the branch were located in the Maylor Block where meetings were held twice monthly for approximately fourteen years.
At this time the Legion wholly supported the needy and disabled veterans by personal contributions. In order to raise money for the local benevolent purposes, numerous plays were staged in the surrounding districts. Euchre parties, sponsored by the Legion were the highlight of those days.
On October 19, 1933, the Legion formed a Guard of Honour at the station in Forest for the Earl of Bessborough.
October 8, 1938, saw the Legion participating in the International Ceremonies at the official opening of the Blue Water Bridge linking Canada and the United States.
On June 7, 1939, the branch formed a Guard of Honour at Wolsley Barracks in London, Ontario for the tour of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Members journeyed on to Glencoe to act as Guards the following day.
In 1944 the older members purchased the Bank of Montreal building and with lots of volunteer labour created a new Branch for the returning sons and slaughters who were serving in the Second World War.
As the years went by, the membership increase, and the building was not large enough. In 1976, it was decided to sell the property and build a new larger building. The sight of the former Creamery at the north end of Albert Street was purchased and a new Legion was built. The new Branch was officially opened on June 17, 1977 by Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President Douglas McDonald.
Each November 11, the Legion has a Remembrance Day parade to the cenotaph for the laying of wreaths. The ceremonies are then moved indoors to the legion hall where the public is welcome to attend the remainder of the service.
The Legion has two Church parades annually and also participates in other community parades. We support minor sports, seniors activities, community projects and especially veterans and their spouses.
As a Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, we are here to serve our town and community.
“At the Going Down of the Sun We will Remember Them”