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|Jewish Chronicle Article on Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Battalion|
Jewish Chronicle 18 November 1921
'On behalf of the League of Old Judeans comprising members of the Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Battalions (The Judeans) that fought in Palestine, a handsome wreath was placed at the foot of the Cenotaph in Whitehall.'
The League of Old Judeans had been brought together by Louis Sarna, who organised the annual wreath laying at the Cenotaph, which continued until 1928. In that year he was instrumental in founding the Jewish Ex-Servicemen's Legion which 11 years later was to become AJEX - The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women - as we know it today.
AJEX had its beginnings at a Meeting in London in 1928. One of a series of meetings held throughout Britain to protest at Arab anti-Jewish riots in Palestine. More than a thousand Jewish Ex-Servicemen crowded into the Grand Palais Theatre in the East End of London with many more unable to get in.
One of the resolutions passed that day called for the formation of a Jewish Ex- Service organisation in London. The response was immediate and the nucleus of the Jewish Ex-Service Legion was formed with Louis Sarna as Honorary Secretary, a post he filled with distinction until his retirement in 1952.
From 1930 the Annual Remembrance Service and Parade took place on Horse Guards Parade until the outbreak of war. After the war the practice was resumed and continues to this day.
Membership of the Legion increased by leaps and bounds. By 1934 it had grown from a London organisation into a national one, with affiliated groups all over the UK. During this period with the rise of fascism, the Legion co-operated with the Board of Deputies of British Jews. The Board had established the Jewish Defence Committee (JDC) to co-ordinate the efforts of Jewish groups to counter British Union of Fascists propaganda. The Legion provided speakers, stewards and observers at public meetings.
Creators: Dr Saul Issroff
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