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A salute to Harrow’s war graves and South Harrow’s Royal British Legion

The 18th of May this year will mark the 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Monte Cassino, with many Brits taking a moment of silence to pay their respects.

Throughout the year, the UK commemorates those who gave their lives for their country and, in this article, we’re raising a salute to Harrow’s war graves and South Harrow’s Royal British Legion.

Paying our respects

As with every other borough in Great Britain, soldiers from Harrow have lost their lives to war and some of these are honoured with a war grave or soldier’s grave. These can be seen in a number of cemeteries in the London Borough of Harrow, including:

Wealdstone Cemetery

Wealdstone Cemetery is the final resting place for 54 soldiers and the cemetery is located at the end of Byron Park via Belmont Road. In order to gain access to the cemetery, visitors need to obtain a key from the Harrow Civic Centre and this can be done by telephone on 020 8424 1596.

Pinner New Cemetery

Located off Pinner Road, Pinner New Cemetery is home to 63 Commonwealth war graves and the cemetery can be visited from 9am to 7pm between April and September.

A salute to Harrow’s war graves and South Harrow’s Royal British Legion Harrow Online
Pinner New Cemetery. Image: Google

The Royal British Legion

Founded in May 1921, The Royal British Legion was created by Field Marshal Earl Haigh and Tom Lister from The Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers. The objective was to bring together four different organisations:

  • The National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers
  • The British National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers
  • The Comrades of The Great War
  • The Officers’ Association

Following the First World War, many returning servicemen were facing a life of disability and unemployment and, similarly, a great number of widows and orphans found themselves sliding into poverty. The Royal British Legion was formed to provide financial help to all of these victims of war – work that continues to this day.

Home from home

Located at 76 Northolt Road, The Royal British Legion in South Harrow began life in 1918 at The Three Horseshoes pub as an ex-servicemen’s club. After moving to a number of different locations in Harrow, the Legion eventually settled at its current site in 1927 thanks to a mortgage from Wells Brewers of Watford.

Today, the club serves as a social hub and charity and members (who don’t have to be ex-service people, everyone’s welcome) can enjoy a number of great activities including darts, live televised sports and even fishing at the club’s own lake in Stanmore.

A salute to Harrow’s war graves and South Harrow’s Royal British Legion Harrow Online
Image: Nicci Rae

As well as providing a vital hub for the community, South Harrow’s Royal British Legion has function rooms for hire and has even been featured on screen including adverts for Coca-Cola and Webuyanycar.com (the one where Phillip Schofield jumps out of a cake).

Getting involved

Supporting our veterans and service people is as important now as it was in 1921 and, if you want to get involved, head on over to the South Harrow Royal British Legion website to check out forthcoming events.

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