Prestonpans branch has been awarded a £2,500 grant for a new initiative that promotes remembrance and comradeship. The funds will cover the costs of a rededication service at the Prestonpans war memorial and a project that will boost the memorial’s upkeep year-round. 

The support comes from The Centenary Award – a scheme set up to mark 100 years since the foundation of the Royal British Legion Scotland. It specifically supports legacy projects, and there is an annual fund for initiatives that best meet the charitable aims of the Edinburgh, Lothians & Borders area. Separately, East Lothian Council has committed to refurbishing the area surrounding the Prestonpans memorial. 

Once the council’s work has been completed, the Prestonpans branch will host a rededication service with veterans, invited guests, and friends of the war memorial project. Eric Yule, branch chairman, said: “We will use this event to launch a comradeship and wellbeing initiative for veterans to come together regularly to clean and maintain the war memorial prior to entering the annual Best Kept War Memorial competition, held each spring and in the run-up to Remembrance Day each November.” 

Branch secretary Freddie Wood explained: “To build on this event, the plan is to then recruit, train and support a team of standard bearers for our future Remembrance Days and other events as well as to develop initiatives to help raise awareness and promote our charitable purpose for the local Armed Forces and wider community.” 

It is hoped that the improvements to the memorial will also lead to an increase in donations to the poppy appeal each year. 

Brian Kelly, the area chairman of Edinburgh, Lothians & Borders, presented the cheque to the Prestonpans branch. He also urged members to take advantage of a separate award, also worth £2,500, which was available for uniformed youth groups. This funding is called the Earl Haig Award in honour of Legion Scotland’s founder. Youth groups can apply via their local Legion Scotland branch for any project that aligns with Legion Scotland’s charitable aims.