At the time that the Great War of 1914-1918 ended the area around modern Totton consisted of several small villages and hamlets of which the principal one was Eling. As the carnage ended the local communities, like most people, wanted to forget about the War. However, every year on Armistice Day (11th.November) throughout the entire nation, on the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month everyone stopped what they were doing and paid homage to the thousands who had been killed. Traffic came to a standstill, men doffed their hats, and all stood in silence for two minutes to show their respect. Eling and the local area took part but, like most small villages there was no War Memorial around which to gather, and not enough people to form a Legion Branch.
By 1935 the growing population of Eling and Totton provided sufficient numbers for the formation of a Branch of the British Legion (The Legion was not granted Royal status until it had been in existence for fifty years.), and this came into being on 21st August of that year. It was formed for the usual reasons of self-help, mutual assistance, and to remember fallen comrades. Eleven eventful years followed, in which the country fought Germany and its allies for a second time from 1939 to 1945. With the return of the conscripted servicemen and women in 1946 the Branch suddenly expanded to over four hundred members.
There was at one time one hundred and forty seven Welfare Cases which required the help of the Branch. These cases mainly consisted of fighting the authorities regarding the issue of War Pensions, but also for the medical aid for both the ex-servicemen and their families, for at that time (from 1945 to 1948) there was no such thing as a National Health Service, and payment was required for most medical treatment.
Welfare cases are now managed centrally. Our local Welfare Officer still works on local cases, but the assesment of need and the allocation of resources has moved away from our branch to a central management system
We now concetrate on raising money for the Poppy Appeal in order to finance these welfare needs.
The majority of new recuits to the branch are not ex-military and so the Totton & Eling Branch of the Royal British benefits from members of all ages, genders, ethnic origins and religions.