The Guyana Legion is a constituent member of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-services League. Founded in 1921, the Leagues aim is to ensure that no pre-independence Commonwealth military veterans should be without help if in need. The debt is huge. Three million Commonwealth soldiers, of whom 440,000 were casualties, fought in the First World War; and four and a half million Commonwealth service men and women from Africa, India and the Caribbean, of whom 360,000 became casualties, participated in the Second World War. The League is a Commonwealth charity with 56 member organisations in 48 Commonwealth countries, where 65,000 eligible veterans and widows have been identified. Colonel Morgan, President of the Guyana Legion, represented Guyana at the Leagues 30th Triennial Conference in Accra, Ghana, on July 19-23 this year. The Legion is also affiliated to the Royal Canadian Legion which provides some financial assistance.
The Guyana Legion is recognised as the mother of all veterans organisations. Owing to the original restriction of ordinary membership to veterans of the two world wars, former members of the British Guiana Volunteer Force, Guyana Defence Force and Guyana Peoples Militia were discouraged from joining. As a result, the Guyana Veterans Foundation was founded in 1995 to provide for the welfare of veterans of post-war military forces for whom it is at present constructing this countrys first national veterans home. The Foundation also constructed the countrys first monument dedicated To the memory of the men and women who served in the military forces of British Guiana and Guyana.
Representatives of the veterans organisations met Dr Roger Luncheon, who is Secretary of the Guyana Defence Board, in July 2000 when it was agreed that a single organisation should represent all military veterans in the country. Mr Neil Isaacs, AA, himself a World War II veteran and former president of the Guyana Legion, chaired the interim National Veterans Commission with this in mind and his report laid the foundation for amalgamating all veterans organisations. This policy of amalgamation was reinforced with the election of Colonel Morgan a former commandant of the Guyana Peoples Militia and acting commander of the Guyana Defence Force as the Legions president in February this year. He pledged to move faster towards removing barriers to enable the Legion to embrace all military veterans. The Guyana Veterans Foundation has already taken the first step to merge completely with the Guyana Legion.