Honorary Freeman honour for Worksop's Royal British legion

The Worksop branch of the Royal British Legion is set to receive the highest honour Bassetlaw District Council ca bestwo.

By Danielle Andrews
Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 12:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 1:02 pm
Field of Remembrance in Memorial Gardens, Worksop, pictured with members of Worksop Air Cadets are Coun Sybil Fielding and chairman of Worksop Royal British Legion, Brian Madden
Field of Remembrance in Memorial Gardens, Worksop, pictured with members of Worksop Air Cadets are Coun Sybil Fielding and chairman of Worksop Royal British Legion, Brian Madden

The Honorary Freedom to the District of Bassetlawwill be bestowed upon the organisation at a freedom ceremony at Retford Town hall on March 5. Councillor Sybil Fielding, who has worked with the Worksop Branch of the Royal British Legion said: “The branch is thriving, and we have over 100 members. “This is a rare honour that has been bestowed upon the branch.“The branch is one of the longest running, beginning in 1921. Coun Fielding, who represents Worksop West added: “A tremendous amount of people have done sterling work in the branch over the years, honouring all those who have gone before. “It’s incredibly important to support those who have served, and those who are currently serving.” The honour recognises the Worksop Branch of the RBL and the Retford & District branch of the RBL.Ray Fielding, branch secretary for Worksop said: “The branch is delighted to receive this honour, there has been a huge amount of work put in over a long time.“You’ve only got to look at the World War One Centenary celebrations last year to see the huge amount of work that has gone into the mass engagement with schools and the community. “The branch was close to closing due to low membership numbers five years ago, and now we have over 100 members.“Anyone is welcome to join the Royal British Legion, which is all about supporting our service personnel, and we are also custodians of remembrance. The Honorary Freedom of the borough is the highest honour that Bassetlaw District can bestow, and honours the branches for their continuous service. It is a power that is rarely used and is normally only awarded to local people who have in the opinion of the council, rendered eminent services to the borough. The award dates back to the middle ages when Freemen had commercial privileges and a route into a position of power in a town or city.Mr Fielding added: “Bassetlaw District Council has done a huge amount to help us at the legion.“We are delighted to attend the special meeting to accept this honour.“As custodians of Remembrance the branch strives to engage the whole community and Worksop never lets us down, from the Scouts and Cadets on parade, to support each year for the Poppy Appeal.“In accepting the Freedom of the District our branch also acknowledges the support over the years from the Council and Worksop Charter Trustees.”The branch’s first chairman was Sgt Johnson, who is one of 482 war heroes who were awarded the Victoria Cross during WWI.Sgt Johnson’s cross is displayed at the Sherwood Foresters Museum, Nottingham CastleThe Retford and District Branch meets at 7.30pm on the first Monday of every month at the Babworth Sports and Social Club, and anyone is welcome to join.