Royal British Legion chair receives CBE after over 50 years' service

Una and Peter Cleminson at the Festival of Remembrance with their grandchildren Florence and Monty

Una and Peter Cleminson at the Festival of Remembrance with their grandchildren Florence and Monty - Credit: Supplied

The former chair of the Royal British Legion received a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, 12 years after her husband received the same accolade for the same role.

Una Cleminson, 77, was chair of the Royal British Legion for three years, up until May, and was vice-chair for three years prior to that.

She told the Crow: "I was the first woman to be elected in the 100-year history of the legion. It's quite a male-oriented organisation.

"I was running the legion and its activities throughout the country and the world."

Una, who moved to Melbourn with her husband 10 years ago to be nearer to their daughter, said that she was "surprised" to receive the CBE.

She said: "Normally the chairman does get an honour but not every time, and I thought I wouldn't this time because of the pandemic, as things haven't been quite the same - so it was a surprise."

Una first got involved in the Royal British Legion 50 years ago, when she went to a legion club with her husband Peter and was asked to help with the Poppy Appeal.

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She said: "I was given various jobs in the legion and I actually joined the TA [Territorial Army] because you had to be a serving member to get onto any committee in the legion.

"I meant to join the TA for a week because that's what you have to do, but I actually stayed for 20 years because I loved what I was doing."

Una's husband Peter was also chairman of the Royal British Legion from 2007 to 2010, and was also awarded a CBE for his service in 2010.

"It's never happened before where you've had a husband and wife do the same job in the legion," Una said.

"I'm still a legion member but I'm a great believer that when you've had the top job you walk away and don't look over anybody's shoulder. I'm obviously still there if anyone wants any advice.

"We're in different times with new people coming in with new ideas. You can't stand still or you'll fall."

The Royal British Legion is a national network that has supported the Armed Forces community since 1921.

It is the country's largest Armed Forces charity, with 180,000 members, 110,000 volunteers and a network of partners and charities.