Under Rule 2 of the Royal Charter there are four classes of membership within the Legion: Members, Life Members, Women’s Section Members and Youth Members. Article 7 of the Charter states that there shall be a Women’s Section of the Legion constituted in accordance with the Rules, and the Bye-Laws of the Women’s Section.
The Charter thus gives to women a separate status with a measure of autonomy within the Legion, in order that they may be organised adequately and given every facility to voice their views and carry on their special work.
The Women’s Section exists to augment and widen the work of the Legion. One of the most important aims of the Legion is to promote the welfare of widows, Service and ex-Service personnel and their dependants.
Because women are often well able to deal with the practical problems that arise in connection with women and children, the Women’s Section plays a particularly valuable role in this welfare field. The measure of independence enjoyed by the Women’s Section reflects the valuable service given to the Legion over the years in this and other ways.
The Poppy Appeal is part of the fundraising division of The Royal British Legion. It raises almost half of the money needed by the Legion’s benevolent fund and takes place in late October and early November.
For many years Legion members and particularly the Women’s Section, have played a vital role in the Poppy Appeal. To these people the appeal is not just a fortnight in the Winter; fundraising is a year-long activity. There are many ways in which this has been achieved: holding events, organising home collections, arranging static collections and, particularly, observing the convention of the “Closed Period”. This Closed Period is the month that runs from 14th October until 14th November each year when the proceeds of all fundraising events held by counties, branches and clubs within the Women’s Section are diverted to The Poppy Appeal rather than The Women’s Section Benevolent Fund.