Our History

By the end of World War 1, there were a total of 15 Veterans groups and a number of regimental associations representing former service members in Canada. Despite their common goal - to help returned...

By the end of World War 1, there were a total of 15 Veterans groups and a number of regimental associations representing former service members in Canada. Despite their common goal – to help returned servicemen in need – their efforts were fragmented and largely unsuccessful. In 1925, an appeal for unity led to the formation of the Dominion Veterans Alliance. The Legion was founded in November of that year in Winnipeg, Manitoba as The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Services League (BESL). It was incorporated by special Act of Parliament, Charter issued in July 1926.

Initially, the principal objectives of the Legion were to provide a strong voice for World War I Veterans and advise the government on Veterans’ issues. However, World War II brought an influx of new demands and the Legion increased efforts to help Veterans and returned service members, as well as those serving abroad.

To this day, even with numerous changes over the years, including the adoption of our current name, The Royal Canadian Legion has never faltered in our efforts to improve the lives of Veterans, ex-service members and their families. It has been our principal objective since day one, and we will continue to work for it every day forward.