THE Royal British Legion is calling on Advertiser readers to help save its Chalfont St Peter branch from closure.

The dwindling number of members has sparked fears that British Legion branches across Buckinghamshire could close unless members of the public step forward and support the charity.

Legion bosses fear branch closures will affect poppy collections ahead of Remembrance Sunday, when thousands of pounds are raised to support war veterans and their families.

The Chalfont St Peter branch, in Nicol Road, needs a new treasurer and more members to safeguard its future.

Club chairman Keith Bowler, 64, warns that if this does not happen the club will face closure, and he is sending out an appeal to villagers to get involved and to help the club survive.

He said: "Our members are getting older and less mobile, and some of them are infirm.

"Unfortunately, we are not getting newer members to replace them, so our membership levels fall all the time.

"We will soon not have enough people to run the club and to take part in things like poppy collections, which are very important to us.

"Because of this, it is very important that new people join up as soon as possible to help save the club."

He added: "There is a misconception that you need a military background to join the legion, but you don't. You just

need to be able to give some of your time and to come along to meetings."

Mr Bowler said there was also an urgent need for a treasurer.

"It is crucially important we find someone for that role," he said. "We simply cannot operate without treasurer."

British Legion clubs across the UK are having similar problems as current members age and few younger members join up to replace them.

Bill Kerr, the chairman of Chesham British Legion and a former chairman of the Buckinghamshire British Legion, said: "The problem is the same every-where. It is crucially important that younger people join up and help us, because without them, the clubs will not be able to last.

"If people have been thinking about getting involved, I would encourage them to do so now before it is too late."

* If you would like to join the Chalfont St Peter branch, call Mr Bowler on 01753 882 519.