Our favourite moments from 2018

In 2018 we led the country in marking 100 years since the end of the First World War, tackled myths surrounding the Poppy and saw our fundraisers take on some amazing challenges.

Saying Thank You to the First World War generation

A century on from the end of the First World War, we led the nation in thanking the WW1 generation. Events took place up and down the country culminating in a moving Remembrance service 100 years after the guns fell silent. 

We thanked artists, pioneers, children, women, the Commonwealth and the Armed Forces who served, sacrificed and changed our world. We thanked J.R.R Tolkien for drawing on the terrible things he witnessed to inspire his classic novel Lord of the Rings, and Flora Sandes - the first female solider who made it all the way to Sergeant Major.

We were joined by partners such as the English and Welsh national football teams with poignant messages from Harry Kane, Danny Welbeck, Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale.

Thousands of members and branches gathered in Ypres for GP90

In August, thousands of members and representatives helped us recreate the 1928 Battlefields Pilgrimage to mark the centenary of the launch of the ‘Hundred Days Offensive’.

One of the Legion’s biggest membership events in modern history, it included two days of visits to WW1 battlefields and cemeteries.  

On 8 August 2018, members and representatives paraded through Ypres to the Menin Gate with their Standards and wreaths for the One Hundred Days ceremony to commemorate the centenary of the launch of the ‘Hundred Days Offensive’. 

Challenging myths around the poppy

After 100 years in circulation as a worldwide symbol of Remembrance, the meaning behind the poppy can understandably get a little lost in translation. So we wanted to start a conversation and do some de-mystifying around the Poppy. On Facebook we reached over 7 million people and and over 60,000 people shared the post helping to spread the word, so we can continue the legacy of Remembrance together.

Tracing WW1 Ancestry

In partnership with Ancestry UK and The National Army Museum, we traced the ancestry of four social media influencers back to WW1 with amazing results. 

Lifestyle blogger and university You Tuber Jack Edwards , Vlogger Becky Brown, singer Jay James and adventure blogger Kate Jamieson all found WW1 connections and relatives they didn't know they had.

 

Reaching the next generation

In the summer we sponsored Summer in the City, the UK's largest YouTube and online video event for budding YouTubers and online video creators. Attendees came down to our WW1-inspired living room to take selfies and record their own messages of thanks to the First World War generation in our WW1 style broadcasting studio.

Supporting friends and family at the Invictus Games

In November we travelled to Sydney to support the family and friends of those competing in the Invictus Games. Find out what it meant for them to be able to support their loved ones Down Under.

Giving civilians a taste of service life for Armed Forces Day

For Armed Forces Day we asked civilians to guess the average weight service personnel can be expected to carry.

Veteran Dan Smith kayaks 910 miles across the UK

Army veteran Dan Smith spent 53 days kayaking and trekking over 900 miles solo across the UK to say Thank You to the WW1 generation and raised over £23,000 for the Royal British Legion.

GROUNDBREAKING EXPEDITION TO THE HIMALAYAS

A team of 12 serving military wounded, injured and sick (WIS) personnel and veterans undertook a life-changing expedition in the Himalayas and summited Mera Peak on Remembrance Sunday.

Leading the nation in Remembrance

On 11 November our annual Festival of Remembrance took place at the Royal Albert Hall. In the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family, Sir Tom Jones, Sir Bryn Terfel, Sheridan Smith, Danny Jones and Tom Fletcher performed alongside The Band of HM Royal Marines, The Royal Air Force Central Band and The RAF Squadronnaires.

 

Thousands came to London to take part in The National Service of Remembrance, held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday.

Being charity of the day at Army v Navy rugby

On 5 May 82,000 rugby fans filled Twickenham Stadium for the 101st match between the British Army and the Royal Navy for the Babcock Trophy, at which The Legion were chosen as charity of the day.

FOUR FRIENDS TAKE ON EPIC ATLANTIC CHALLENGE FOR THE LEGION

Four friends from Yorkshire will spend Christmas in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as they battle the elements and race to win the epic 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. RAF Chief Technician Fraser Mowlem, Former Royal Marine Glyn Sadler, Ex-Royal Engineer Duncan Roy and civilian Will Quarmby will travel 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for their chosen charities The Royal British Legion and Soldier On!

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