Author(s): Brian Harding
The Royal British Legion is Great Britain's rough equivalent to the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars in the United States. Although Britain is sometimes thought of as a "welfare state," British veterans have not always received the recognition or benefits they had been expecting at war's end. The British Legion, initially made up of World War I veterans, was formed in 1921 and was awarded a "Royal" title after 50 years of service. The Legion cared for the war-disabled and widows after both World Wars, and fought to preserve annual Remembrance Day commemorations even during long periods of peace when veterans tend to be forgotten by the general population.