Ww1centenary 715X195 First World War Centenary

WW1 Centenary

The 4th of August 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the day Britain entered one of the costliest conflicts in history – the First World War – with fighting continuing until the 11th of November 1918, Armistice Day.

The Royal British Legion was founded by veterans of the First World War who adopted the poppy as their symbol of Remembrance and hope. Today the Legion is at the forefront of Centenary commemorations. As we come together in Remembrance of events a century ago, we are reminded of the important welfare work the Legion continues to provide today and will need to provide in the future.

WW1Centenarybooklet _200x 284The problems facing First World War veterans when they returned to the UK continue to affect serving personnel and veterans today: whether living with bereavement or disability, finding employment, or coping with financial stress.

As the UK’s Custodian of Remembrance, the Legion is leading the nation in respecting the sacrifices of the First World War. As the UK’s largest Armed Forces charity, the Legion is leading in providing direct care and support to Armed Forces and veteran families in need.

The Legion is involved in a number of commemorative Centenary projects at national, county and branch level. A brief outline of some of these is including in our downloadable WW1 Centenary information booklet and listed below. Some still in the planning stages so please revisit this section of our website for information as more projects are announced.

Remembering the Fallen

Every Man RememberedEvery Man Remembered (incorporating Every Woman Remembered) is an exciting project asking for every casualty from the First World War to be remembered indvidually. In partnership with the CWGC, the Legion has developed a special new website where you can make a personal commemoration.
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Centenary Fields

Centenary FieldsThe Royal British Legion in partnership with Fields in Trust, has launched a new programme, Centenary Fields.

The aim is to protect at least one green space in each local authority across the UK in honour of the sacrifice of those who gave their lives in WW1.

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Centenary Gardens

Centenary Gardens _250x 175Ashridge Trees in Somerset are our partners on this special project. They are selling a range of trees, shrubs and other plants to raise money for the Legion via their website, providing the opportunity for everyone to plant a living memorial for the Centenary.

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Tower of London poppies

TowerMoatPoppyThe Tower of London has opened a major new installation, 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' where over 800,000 ceramic poppies are being installed in its iconic moat. The poppies are being sold to raise money for several Service charities including the Legion.

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Fields of Battle Lands of Peace

Fields of BattleA major street gallery exhibition in St James's Park, London to commemorate the WW1 Centenary and sponsored by the Legion. Free to the public and running from 4 August until 11 November 2014.

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Centenary Poppy Campaign

Poppy fieldOriginating in the Greenhithe and Swanscombe Branch of the Legion, this national campaign aims to cover the UK with poppies, commemorating all those who lost their lives in the First World War, by the public and local authorities purchasing Flanders poppy seeds from B&Q to plant on their own land.  Read more >>>

Centenary Charity Auction

Centenary AuctionDo you have any WW1 memorabilia such as uniforms, medals, postcards or antiques and collectibles from the 1920s to the 1960s? We'd love you to donate them to The Great Centenary Charity Auction. All funds raised will help us fund research into reducing the effects of blast injuries. Read more >>>

Forever commemorative album

FOREVER Album Cover 250X165An extraordinary collection of spoken word and music featuring well know actors and presenters to commemorate the First World War. Produced by Decca Records it also features readings and stories by a number of descendants of WW1 Victoria Cross recipients and the music of The Central Band of The Royal British Legion. Read more >>>

Illustrated London News WW1 in pictures

ILN WW1A special commemorative book containing archive information and images from the Illustrated London News has been produced in honour of the centenary of the First World War. Available in stores now with £1.40 from each issue donated to the Legion.

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Centenary poppy sculptures

MH_poppysculpture _250Watch out for these interactive poppy sculptures by award winning artist Mark Humphrey in a shopping centre near you. Each sculpture can hold up to 3000 personalised poppies in honour of those who sacrificed their lives in the First World War.

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14-18 Legacy

sits_lon09This is a fundraising initiative to encourage secondary school students to learn more about the First World War. It hopes to raise £1 million for the Legion over the next four years and leave a legacy for the future.

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WW1 commemorative stamps

1914 Royal Mail stampsRoyal Mail are producing five special commemorative stamp sets between 2014 and 2015, each containing six unique stamps, in honour of the centenary of the First World War. The first set is now available.

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Hear My Cry

Hear my cryThe Bible Society has published a collection of poems, psalms and drawings inspired by the Centenary 'Hear My Cry - words for when there are no words'. Proceeds will be donated to the Legion and a copy of the book is being sent to each of the Legion's branches.

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The Book of the Poppy

The book of the poppyPublished by The History Press 'The Book of the Poppy' provides an understanding about the history of this unique symbol and the vital work of The Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal. £1 for every book sold and 50p for every e-book will be donated to the Legion.

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National Memorial Arboretum

Shotat DawnThe UK’s living Centre of Remembrance, will mark 100 years since the First World War  with a variety of special events and activities, for all ages. Activities include a WW1 Discovery Trail, war poetry recitals, commemorative services and special programmes for school children. Entrance to the National Memorial Arboretum is free. Visit www.thenma.org.uk/events

Schools and Learning

IWM Q000872/Sean PowerThe Legion's FREE Learning Pack is updated annually and contains a wide variety of resources on the First World War including assembly outlines, case studies, poetry, activities and comparison of then and now. Follow this link for more about our Learning Pack (including CD & DVD resources) or to order your copy.

Branch projects

Burnham War MemorialThe Legion's Burnham Branch has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Burnam War Stories, a project working with local schools and youth organisations. Read more >>>

And Stowmarket Branch also received HLF funding for a concert and Antiques Roadshow type event in May, a parade in July and an essay competition for local students based on those commemorated on the town's memorial gates.

Remembrance Travel

Menin Gate with poppy tributesThe Legion's travel arm, Remembrance Travel, is offering a number of WW1 tours in 2014 and will also arrange bespoke group tours. Visit www.remembrancetravel.org.uk.

We also offer tours for schools and organisations for young people both within the UK and in Europe. Visit www.remembrancetravelforschools.org.uk.

LIGHTS OUT - one million candles

Lights outLIGHTS OUT was an invitation to everyone in the UK to participate in a shared moment of reflection by turning off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on 4 August, leaving on a single light or candle, to mark the 100th anniversary of when Great Britain entered the First World War.

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