Legion’s 90th, a tribute to its veterans

Cathy Andrews volunteers at the Royal Canadian Legion in part as tribute to her grandfather. She said Wilfred Edwin Andrews was a quiet man who served as an acting lance corporal the period the Great War.

He served with the 169th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. His granddaughter, now the branch’s ladies auxiliary president, honours his memory.

“This is about community,” Cathy Andrews said, “about appreciation (and) about honouring those that fought.”

On Dec. 3, the Todmorden Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 10, celebrated its 90th anniversary.

Opened in 1927, the Todmorden Legion was created to aid and assist returning veterans.

Following L/Cpl. Andrews’ return from two years in the First World War, he joined the Legion in 1928.

Cathy Andrews recalled that during the Second World War that prisoners of war – mostly German merchant navy crewmen – worked on small campsites in the area. She said her grandfather remembered the German POWs as “nice quiet lads who were polite.” The POW camp is now recognized as Todmorden Mills.

In March of 1946, shacks and outbuildings remaining from the POW camp burned to the ground after being after subjected to vandalism.

The Legion planned to donate proceeds from the 90th anniversary event toward restoring building infrastructure to make the branch more accessible to veterans and their families.

Cathy Andrews is proud of her grandfather and his wartime service, “so that we can have this 90th anniversary in peace and harmony.”