The Royal British Legion is calling on people to join a mass movement to say ‘Thank You’ to all who served, sacrificed, and changed our world during the First World War.
The charity has launched ‘Big and Little Ways to Say Thank you’ – a 15-page booklet with ideas for individuals, groups and the workplace to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
These include using a recipe from the ‘Win the War’ cookbook issued during the war containing such delights as Stewed Nettles and South Carolina Pudding!
Other suggestions are to raise a toast to symbolise the French, who gave wine to soldiers passing through on their way home or end an argument as a symbol of Armistice Day.
The booklet contains many interesting wartime facts and highlights the role played by Scouts and Girl Guides. Scouts were assigned coast-guard watching duty whilst Guides became messengers for national intelligence service, MI5.
The First World War created major changes in society, including the greater role of women in the workforce and public life contributing to the first women gaining the right to vote in 1918.
There were also significant advancements medicine such as blood banks, x-rays and reconstructive surgery and everyday products such as the wrist watch, the trench coat, or the humble teabag were developed.
Organisations supporting the campaign include English National Ballet, Diwali in the Square, Highclere Castle, GCHQ, Cadbury, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, the Coventry Building Society, the Rugby Football Union and many others. Hundreds of community events have been organised so far to say a mass ‘Thank You’.
Charles Byrne, Director General of The Royal British Legion, said:
We all have a connection to the First World War, for me it is Private Ross Ryan, my grandfather, and we all have a reason to say ‘Thank You’ to this special generation.
Whether your personal ‘Thank You’ is an event dedicated to those who made a difference in your community, a visit to a place of significance, or a simple tweet, there’s no limit to the ways people can take part. We are making a plea to every single person across the UK to get involved and take a moment in this very significant year to say ‘Thank You’.
More information can be found on the British Legion’s website and on social media using the hashtag #THANKYOU100
Picture: Royal British Legion