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The Original Ypres League

Formed in September 1920 by Colonel Henry Beckles Wilson, the original Ypres League was the first British remembrance organisation of its kind. With King George V as Patron in Chief, Princess Beatrice as Patron and Lord French as President, the League quickly expanded and by the 1930s had branches not only in Great Britain but all over the world.
Membership was originally aimed at veterans who had served in the Ypres Salient and families of men who fell in the Salient and at its height numbered tens of thousands of members. These members were presented with a coveted certificate of membership on joining. Membership was also available to the general public, but these members received no certificate.















By the 1930s the league numbered several thousand members and could name such personalities as Lord Haig, Sir Fabian Ware, Lord Plumer, Beatrice Brice and Tubby Clayton of the famed Talbot House as committee members amongst many notable others.


















The League had specific aims which evolved over time as each were achieved, they were responsible for the foundation of St Georges Memorial Church in Ypres, the placing of Demarcation Stones at key points in the Ypres Salient, recording the locations of cemeteries and memorials and assisting thousands of pilgrims on their trips to the Salient.
In order to achieve these aims the League launched several publications including the iconic Ypres Times quartely newspaper and Beatrice Brice’s book The Immortal Salient. A map was produced for pilgrims visiting the area outlining the old front lines and the battlefield sites where their loved ones fought and fell. The League also produced badges, ties and blazer badges for their supporters to purchase and so raise funds for the League.







The advent of the Second World War was to see the end of the Ypres League in its beloved city of Wipers and this once great and influential organisation was consigned to the history books.

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Reverand P Clayton of Talbot House was also a member, seen here laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of the Ypres League.

The original Ypres League standard was consecrated on June 1st 1929. The background of the standard was cornflower blue which was Sir John French's favourite colour with a gold fringe. The centre of the circle was scarlet. The Standard was a gift to the League from Sir Charles C Wakefield. Its current whereabouts is unknown.

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