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Camilla visits Victory Services Club

The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron-in-Chief, Victory (Services) Association, paid a visit to the Victory Services Club on Thursday.

During her visit, The Duchess toured the building and its facilities, including some of the accommodation, before meeting staff, supporters and members of the club during a reception in the El Alamein Room.

The Victory Services Club (VSC) is a renowned Military Members Club for retired and serving members of the Armed Forces.

Founded in 1907, by Major Arthur Haggard upon his return from the Boer War, the club known then as the Veterans’ Club, promoted “esprit de corps” among retired Armed Forces of all ranks by affording accommodation and assistance to those servicemen in need as well as their families.

The Club changed its name to the Allenby Club in 1936 as a memorial to Field Marshal Lord Allenby who had been its president since 1933. Lord Allenby was followed by Field Marshal Lord Chetwode. The Club’s name was later changed to the Victory Ex – Services Club.

The club has seen many well-known honourary Patrons since its inception 108 years ago such as Sir Winston Churchill, Clement Atlee, General Eisenhower and Field-Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein have all been part of the VSC.

Camilla of course has her own connections to El Alamein. Her father Major Bruce Shand served with the Desert Rats in the Second World War and was captured during the Battle of El Alamein.

The Duke of Edinburgh became Patron-in-Chief of the VSC in 1957.

“The Victory Club for ex- servicemen given by the nation as memorial to fallen comrades and as a tribute to those who returned, stands guardian of the common treasures and memories of friendship and brave deeds,” Sir Winston Churchill said of the Club.

In 1970 it amended its charter to allow for active duty member of the Armed Forces and their families to be included.

The Duchess of Cornwall became Patron-in-Chief in October 2012.

With over 32,000 paying members, the VSC holds the largest membership of any Military Club in the country.

Featured photo credit: Dan Marsh via photo pin cc

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