The Royal Canadian
Legion was founded in Nov 1925 in Winnipeg, MB as the Canadian Legion of the
British Empire Services League (BESL) and was incorporated by special Act of
Parliament, with a Charter issued in Jul 1926.
objectives of the Canadian Legion were to provide a strong voice for World War I
veterans and advise the government on veterans' issues. These goals were
maintained in the years leading up to 1939.
During the Second
World War, the Legion increased efforts to help veterans and returned service
members, provided education support and in-theatre comfort for serving personel
at home and abroad. The Canadian Legion was one of the official Auxiliary
On 14 Oct 1949, The
Great War Veterans' Association of Newfoundland amalgamated with the Royal
Canadian Legion, with the entry of Newfoundland into Confederation.
During the Korean
War, the Legion again supported troops overseas while continuing their efforts
in Canada to improve assistance for veterans.
Following the Korean
War, the Legion became increasingly involved in local communities, with such
activities as an athletics program for youth, established in the early 1950s,
which was one of the Legion's most successful programs. The program produced
many top international track and field contenders and other prominent athletes.
Other community programs included the National Unity and Seniors Programs and
medical fellowships to promote geriatric and gerentology specialties across the
In 1960, Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II approved the word "Royal" as a prefix to the Legion's name.