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.
The 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
Remembering the Fallen
Every 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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Every Man Remembered
Over 1 million Commonwealth Service men and women were killed during the First World War. The losses were felt in almost every town and village in the UK and throughout what was then the British Empire.
The Royal British Legion, working in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and with the support of Ancestry.co.uk, would like to see each and every one of these men and women individually commemorated throughout the WW1 centenary years. Every Man Remembered is an opportunity for you to be part of a great collective act of Remembrance.
The inspiration for Every Man Remembered came from 14-yr old Gemma who contacted us following a battlefield tour of France and Belgium with her local scout group. "I know that not everyone can be remembered as individuals, but I felt it was a shame for some people to have dozens of poppies and crosses while others had no one left to remember them."
TV Historian Dan Snow is working with the Legion on this exciting project and you can watch his introductory video at www.everymanremembered.org.
As the national custodian of Remembrance, The Royal British Legion will be leading the nation in honouring each and every sacrifice made. It is an opportunity for us to come together and reaffirm our commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder with all who serve today.
Visit www.everymanremembered.org and make your commemoration. And if you could make a donation to help the Legion's work supporting the whole Armed Forces community, it would be most appreciated.
HRH The Duke of Cambridge has launched Centenary Fields, a partnership between The Royal British Legion and Fields in Trust to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.
Working with landowners, we are aiming to protect at least one green space in each of the local authorities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This will create a living UK-wide legacy, and at the same time commemorate the sacrifice made by those who gave their lives in the conflict.
The protected sites could be war memorial parks or recreation grounds, memorial gardens, parks and recreation grounds that contain war memorials, or other valued green space and will create a tangible local legacy that will be valued by communities for generations to come.
The launch took place at the Coventry War Memorial Park. Coventry are the first local authority to officially sign up to agree to protect the playing field and the memorial site.
Please support Fields in Trust and The Royal British Legion to commemorate this important landmark in our history and help remembrance to live on through Centenary Fields.HRH The Duke of Cambridge, President, Fields in Trust
Together with Fields in Trust we have contacted all first tier local authorities and councils in the UK inviting them to participate. The programme will run over the four years of the centenary commemorations, to establish the legacy by November 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Town and Parish Councils will also be officially invited to be part of the programme in November 2014.
Find out more about how you can get involved at www.fieldsintrust.org/centenaryfields
Ashridge Trees in Somerset are our partners on this special project. They are selling a range of trees, shrubs, roses 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.
The Royal British Legion is calling on the public to plant a living legacy for those who fought and died in the First World War as part of its Centenary commemorations.
We're working in partnership with Ashridge Nurseries on Centenary Gardens, a project which aims to keep the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War alive for future generations.
Gardeners of all varieties, no matter what space you have available, can place online orders through Ashridge at www.centenarygardens.co.uk over the next four years. Choose from a selection of over 100 trees, shrubs or roses and plant them in your garden or somewhere special to you, your family or community to create a living memory.
A minimum of 50% of profits will come directly to the Legion to support our work as the nation's leading Armed Forces charity.
Whether it's an oak tree for a public memorial or Remembrance roses for your patio, there's something for everyone.
The idea of planting a living legacy in commemoration of those who died in the First World War brings to life the notion of passing on the torch of Remembrance to the next generation. Living tributes of this nature can last for decades, if not hundreds of years, standing as a lasting reminder of sacrifices that have been made on our behalf.Dr Stephen Clarke, Legion Head of Remembrance
Tower of London poppies
The Tower of London has a major art installation, 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' where over 800,000 ceramic poppies are installed in its iconic moat. The poppies were sold to raise money for several Service charities including the Legion.
Poppies in the Moat
From 5 August 2014 to 11 November 2014, a major artistic installation entitled 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' sees the Tower of London's famous dry moat filled with over 800,000 ceramic poppies to create a powerful visual commemoration for the First World War Centenary.
We're delighted to announce that all the poppies have been sold. Information about the sale of poppies and whether more may become available can be found at poppies.hrp.org.uk
The ceramic poppies were on sale for £25 each with net proceeds, hoped to be in excess of £15 million, to be shared equally amongst a group of carefully selected Service charities including the Legion.
The Legion is proud to be one of the selected charities along with the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes and SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).
The significance of the vital work that these charities provide is one we must not forget and is especially poignant as we mark the anniversary of the First World War and remember all those who lived and fought during this time. General the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower
The installation, in collaboration with ceramic artist Paul Cummins and theatre stage designer Tom Piper, was unveiled on 5 August 2014, one hundred years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War.
The poppies, a symbol of Remembrance in the UK, will encircle the iconic landmark, creating not only a spectacular display visible from all around the Tower, but also an inspiring setting for performance and learning activities, as well as providing a location for personal reflection. The scale of the installation intends to reflect the magnitude of such an important centenary.
888,246 poppies have been installed, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the war. Visit the Historic Royal Palaces website for more information.
Fields of Battle Lands of Peace
Fields of Battle Lands of Peace 14-18
An open-air exhibition capturing the eerie peace and beauty of First World War battlefields as they appear today will be on display in London's St James's Park from Monday 4 August to mark the war's centenary.
The Fields of Battle Lands of Peace 14-18 exhibition is sponsored by The Royal British Legion and features sixty powerful images of contemporary landscapes from Flanders to Gallipoli. The exhibition is free to all members of the public and will run until Armistice Day on 11 November.
The photographs were shot by award-winning photo-journalist Michael St Maur Sheil who has combined his passion for history and landscape to demonstrate how the battlefields of the Great War are now part of the landscape of modern Europe.
The exhibition has been made possible with sponsorship from the Legion, as well the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Imperial War Museums, Wecommunic8, Press Association and The Royal Parks.
Head of Remembrance at The Royal British Legion, Dr Stephen Clarke, said: "As the National Custodian of Remembrance it is only fitting that we help people honour and understand the sacrifices our Armed Forces have made, and continue to make.
"The tranquil scenes depicted in these images were once raging battlefields where so many gave so much for their country. This remarkable exhibition will offer insight into a conflict that scarred not only lives but also the landscape forever, and the legacy that is left behind a century on."
Michael St Maur Sheil said: "The support of The Royal British Legion provides a huge boost for our London street gallery project, helping us introduce the subject of the First World War to audiences who might never normally visit a museum or art gallery, and inviting them to see its battlefields as they are today. To achieve this as a free exhibition, we are reliant on the generous support of the Legion and our other partners."
Find out more about the exhibition at www.fieldsofbattle1418.org
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