Our History


Where we started

From the battlefields of the First World War, many soldiers left to find they were now fighting a personal battle against tuberculosis. In 1919, we began helping thousands of the 55,000 soldiers who were discharged from the service with tuberculosis.


Accommodation for Ex-Service

In 1920, Industrial Settlements Incorporated purchased Preston Hall which was home to 240 ex-servicemen and women. This was the start of a Village ideology where healthcare, training and employment was provided. 


Name changed to British Legion Industries

Shortly after the end of the Second World War our name was changed to British Legion Industries (Preston Hall) Incorporated. We are proud to be a sister charity of the British Legion, with a shared ethos of supporting the Armed Forces community.


The Queen visits

In December 1975 the Village was visited by the Queen Elizabeth II who was hugely impressed. Local school children were given time off to come along to see the Queen during her visit. 


Range of Accommodation built for Ex-Service

A range of accommodation was built during this time period including Mountbatten Pavillion, Gavin Astor House and Prince Philip Lodge.


LifeWorks begins

In the early 2000’s we began our LifeWorks courses, providing employment support to Veterans across the UK. This has since expanded, and we now also deliver courses abroad and to the families of serving personnel.


Charity of the Year

In 2013, RBLI was awarded National Charity Times Awards Charity of the Year. At this point, we had been providing training, employment and support to the Armed Forces community and disabled people for 94 years.


Launch of Britain's Bravest Manufacturing Co.

In 2016, we re-launched our social enterprise as Britain's Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC). Today it provides employment for a team of over 100, 70% of whom are either ex-service or have a disability/health condition. 

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