Our History

WHERE WE STARTED

From the battlefields of the First World War, many soldiers left to find they were now fighting a personal battle against tuberculosis. In 1919, we began helping thousands of the 55,000 soldiers who were discharged from the service with tuberculosis.

1919
1919

WHERE WE STARTED

From the battlefields of the First World War, many soldiers left to find they were now fighting a personal battle against tuberculosis. In 1919, we began helping thousands of the 55,000 soldiers who were discharged from the service with tuberculosis.

1920s

ACCOMMODATION FOR EX-SERVICE

In 1920, Industrial Settlements Incorporated purchased Preston Hall which was home to 240 ex-servicemen and women. This was the start of a Village ideology where healthcare, training and employment was provided.

In 1920 Preston Hall is recognised as the leading national centre of TB care.

1920s

ACCOMMODATION FOR EX-SERVICE

In 1920, Industrial Settlements Incorporated purchased Preston Hall which was home to 240 ex-servicemen and women. This was the start of a Village ideology where healthcare, training and employment was provided.

In 1920 Preston Hall is recognised as the leading national centre of TB care.

HRH Edward Prince of Wales visits

HRH Edward Prince of Wales visited the Aylesford settlement, taking a great interest in the activities before becoming patron.

1921
1921

HRH Edward Prince of Wales visits

HRH Edward Prince of Wales visited the Aylesford settlement, taking a great interest in the activities before becoming patron.

1944

Supporting veterans and their dependants

The total number of patients, settlers and dependants at the Preston Hall site rises to 1,641

1944

Supporting veterans and their dependants

The total number of patients, settlers and dependants at the Preston Hall site rises to 1,641

NAME CHANGED TO BRITISH LEGION INDUSTRIES

Shortly after the end of the Second World War our name was changed to British Legion Industries (Preston Hall) Incorporated. Although now a separate charity the Royal British Legion – with separate finances and governance – we share an ethos of supporting the Armed Forces community.

1946
1946

NAME CHANGED TO BRITISH LEGION INDUSTRIES

Shortly after the end of the Second World War our name was changed to British Legion Industries (Preston Hall) Incorporated. Although now a separate charity the Royal British Legion – with separate finances and governance – we share an ethos of supporting the Armed Forces community.

1964

Signs department opened

The factory launches cutting edge reflective signs department – with 136 disabled employees

1964

Signs department opened

The factory launches cutting edge reflective signs department – with 136 disabled employees

Name changed to Royal British Legion Industries

The Queen bestowed the Royal prefix on the charity. New housing blocks and the present factory were built over the following three years.

1971
1971

Name changed to Royal British Legion Industries

The Queen bestowed the Royal prefix on the charity. New housing blocks and the present factory were built over the following three years.

1975

THE QUEEN VISITS

In December 1975 the Village was visited by the Queen Elizabeth II who was hugely impressed. Local school children were given time off to come along to see the Queen during her visit.

1975

THE QUEEN VISITS

In December 1975 the Village was visited by the Queen Elizabeth II who was hugely impressed. Local school children were given time off to come along to see the Queen during her visit.

1980s-90s

RANGE OF ACCOMMODATION BUILT FOR EX-SERVICE

A range of accommodation was built during this time period including Mountbatten Pavillion, Gavin Astor House and Prince Philip Lodge.

1980s-90s

RANGE OF ACCOMMODATION BUILT FOR EX-SERVICE

A range of accommodation was built during this time period including Mountbatten Pavillion, Gavin Astor House and Prince Philip Lodge.

Queen Elizabeth Court is opened

Queen Elizabeth Court provides assisted living for people who have served in the Armed Forces, and their spouses, aged over 55.

2005
2005

Queen Elizabeth Court is opened

Queen Elizabeth Court provides assisted living for people who have served in the Armed Forces, and their spouses, aged over 55.

2011

LIFEWORKS BEGINS

In the early 2000’s we began our LifeWorks courses, providing employment support to Veterans across the UK. This has since expanded, and we now also deliver courses abroad and to the families of serving personnel.

2011

LIFEWORKS BEGINS

In the early 2000’s we began our LifeWorks courses, providing employment support to Veterans across the UK. This has since expanded, and we now also deliver courses abroad and to the families of serving personnel.

CHARITY OF THE YEAR

In 2013, RBLI was awarded National Charity Times Awards Charity of the Year. At this point, we had been providing training, employment and support to the Armed Forces community and disabled people for 94 years.

2013
2013

CHARITY OF THE YEAR

In 2013, RBLI was awarded National Charity Times Awards Charity of the Year. At this point, we had been providing training, employment and support to the Armed Forces community and disabled people for 94 years.

2016

LAUNCH OF BRITAIN’S BRAVEST MANUFACTURING CO.

In 2016, we re-launched our social enterprise as Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC). Today it provides employment for a team of over 100, 70% of whom are either ex-service or have a disability/health condition.

2016

LAUNCH OF BRITAIN’S BRAVEST MANUFACTURING CO.

In 2016, we re-launched our social enterprise as Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC). Today it provides employment for a team of over 100, 70% of whom are either ex-service or have a disability/health condition.

Centenary Village

The first facility in RBLI’s Centenary Village – 24 specially adapted apartments – is officially opened by the former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon KCB

2017
2017

Centenary Village

The first facility in RBLI’s Centenary Village – 24 specially adapted apartments – is officially opened by the former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon KCB

2018

LifeWorks reaches 1000 veterans

RBLI’s LifeWorks programme reaches over 1000 Armed Forces Veterans nationwide.

2018

LifeWorks reaches 1000 veterans

RBLI’s LifeWorks programme reaches over 1000 Armed Forces Veterans nationwide.

Launch of Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Co.

Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company was opened by Scotland’s First Minister, The Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP on 17th June 2019.

2019
2019

Launch of Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Co.

Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company was opened by Scotland’s First Minister, The Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP on 17th June 2019.

2019

THE QUEEN VISITS TO MARK OUR CENTENARY

On 6th November 2019 Her Majesty The Queen officially opened the new Appleton Lodge care facility and visited the Centenary Village housing project.

2019

THE QUEEN VISITS TO MARK OUR CENTENARY

On 6th November 2019 Her Majesty The Queen officially opened the new Appleton Lodge care facility and visited the Centenary Village housing project.

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