Our History

The legacy of generations

The British Legion was formed on the 15 May 1921, bringing together four national organisations of ex-servicemen that had established themselves after the First world War, and has been supporting Service men and women, ex-serving personnel, and their families ever since by a shared passion for bringing people together to support commemorate and celebrate our Armed Forces community.


The first ever Poppy Appeal was also held that year and the poppies sold out almost immediately.


100 Years on, your support is as vital as ever.
Every person and every poppy counts.

The People

The backbone of our community

The Poppy Ball is run by volunteer committee members who run events to bring together the large ex-service personnel population that resides in Dubai and Northern Emirates. It has been held annually in Dubai from 1970 to 1989,
then resurrected again in 2009.

Anila (Nils) Martin

Raised in Arborfield, near REME, I joined the NAAFI in Paderborn for a year in 1998.


Five countries later we end up in Dubai, a chance meeting gave me the opportunity to become involved with the Veterans Society and the Poppy Ball, which I am honoured to be involved with since 2017.

Chris (Ginge) Ratcliffe

Raised in Evesham, I joined the Royal Engineers in 1985 and served for 25 years serving in multiple countries.


Now in Dubai, I was first involved with the Veterans Society and have been proud to be involved with the Poppy Ball since 2016.