N&M Club History
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History Of The Club

In the latter part of 1918, the South African Veterans Association met to discuss how money available for the benefit of ex-servicemen could be best used. Various ideas were discussed and it was eventually decided to purchase a suitable building for the formation of an ex-servicemans club. No.20 Royal Terrace was purchased when it came on the market for the sum of £5,000.00. Mr R.A. Jones, a noted benefactor of the Town, was approached and readily wrote a cheque to secure the deposit.

The Founders then approached the United Services Fund for a grant. An amount of five shillings was allocated for each man. After a count of the ration books in the borough the sum of £3,500.00 was allocated. The County Borough Council levied a twopenny rate for the peace celebrations. From this money a sum was allocated towards the foundation of the Club. The money raised was now sufficient to purchase the Club.

The Club was officially opened by his Royal Highness, The Prince Albert, Duke of York, later to be King George VI, on 14 July 1920. The annual subscription at this Time was five shillings and a couple of years later was increased to ten shillings and remained at this level until 1951. In 1976 the few remaining "old Contemptibles" asked the club to look after their banner which is now in a case on the 2nd floor landing. They also presented to the club a cabinet containing the cap badges of those regiments who served in the old Contemptibles. This is on display in the main Clubroom, along with a wealth of memorabilia of all kinds from the Wars and Conflicts in which our servicemen have taken part over the Centuries.

A number of Associations hold their reunions within the Club, including the Normandy Veterans and The Korean Veterans.

Time marches on however, and the number of ex-servicemen has dwindled. The Naval & Military Club, whilst upholding its traditions and ethos, now welcomes new members from all walks of life.

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