Welcome to the Christchurch Branch of The Royal British Legion
Time to say Thank you
100 years ago the guns fell silent on the world’s first truly global war. It is time to think about all of those who lived through through this tragic and remarkable time - and who put Britain on the path to becoming what it is today. It’s time to say Thank you for all they did for us.
Who do we want to Thank?
Arts- arts and culture were impacted by the experiences of a generation poets, artists and composers who experienced WW1. Today we still enjoy the works of Wilfred Owen, Gustav Holst, Robert Graves, J R R Tolkien, Edward Elgar and many more.
Children - more than 340,000 children lost a parent and countless more lost brothers and uncles in WW1. Despite this trauma, children played a vital role in the war effort. The First World War affected the youngest of civilians. Children across Britain rallied to do their bit by working in war factories, turning their schools fields into allotments to help provide food or as boy scouts and girl guides taking up extra responsibilities working as coast guards or helping the MI5.
Pioneers- pioneers in WW1 were driven to innovate and find new solutions. In medicine, Doctors and nurses vastly increased our understanding and use of x-rays, blood transfusions, and reconstructive surgery. If you’ve ever used a teabag or worn a wristwatch, you can Thank the necessity during the war for making them commonplace items.
Women- women played a huge role in WW1 and this, in turn, helped to change the role of women in Britain. They served as nurses in field hospitals and at home in munitions factories. Their vital role in supporting the war effort meant that many more women worked in jobs outside the home.
Commonwealth - the Commonwealth answered the call with volunteers from far and wide, including pre-partition India, the Caribbean and Africa, all of whom make up a vibrant part of our culture today. We recognise them today as part of the global family of the Commonwealth, and they served with honour, earning the highest awards for bravery.
The Armed Forces - by the end of WW1 more than a million British and Empire Forces were among the dead and a further 1.25 million were injured, a fifth of them disabled for life. 4 million soldiers returned home to find a shortage of housing and jobs and a struggling economy. Despite this, they brought the same resolve to peace that they had shown in war, helping to rebuild Britain.