VETERANS in Peebles have confirmed that the town's branch of the Royal British Legion is to close later this year.

For more than nine decades the armed forces charity has helped thousands of former service personnel in and around Peebles.

And its members have played a key part in maintaining the region's War Memorials as well as raising vital funds.

But with membership numbers dropping each year - currently standing at 80 - and difficulties in recruiting post holders, time has been called on the local organisation.

Mike Stark, who has been at the forefront of keeping the Peebles branch operating, told us: "We have an ageing membership - many of us are in our 80s and 90s - and finding people to take on committee posts such as chair or treasurer has been a struggle.

"It is with a great deal of sadness that this decision has been made."

The Royal British Legion was founded in 1921 to help survivors of World War One as well as their families.

A sale of poppies each year has allowed that work to continue for servicemen and and women returning from more modern wars, with around 2,500 branches still operating across the country.

The Peebles branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland will officially close on October 31.

Prior to the winding up, a laying of the branch's Colours ceremony will take place at Peebles Parish Church on Sunday, September 15.

The flags will be permanently displayed within the Church next to commemorative tablets for fallen soldiers of World War I.

Ahead of the service, retiring officials hope to locate the exact date that the Peebles branch was formed for inscription on a plaque.

Mr Stark explained: "We believe the branch was formed in 1926 but we don't have records of the exact date.

"If anyone has any information on the forming of the branch we would like to hear from them."