ROSL, then known as the Over-Seas Club was approaching its fourth anniversary at the outbreak of the Great War. An event which reinforced Wrench's belief in the need for solidarity between the peoples of the British Empire and inspired him to establish a number of funds to support the needs of Allied troops.

By the end of the war, the newly amalgamated Over-Seas Club and Patriotic League of Britons Overseas, now known as the Over-Seas League, had raised over £1,000,000 (almost £50,000,000 today) for comforts for troops including:

  • £368,203 for the Overseas Tobacco Fund – of which £57,604 was raised from the children’s pennies scheme
  • £278,630 for the Overseas Aircraft Flotilla which funded 350 aeroplanes and seaplanes
  • £123,292 for the Overseas Red Cross Fund
  • £20,070 for the Overseas League War Memorial

In 1921, the Over-Seas League used the proceeds from the War Memorial Fund, inaugurated in 1916, to purchase Vernon House as a permenent memorial ‘dedicated to the memory of the men of the Old Country and from Overseas who made the great sacrifice’.

To mark the centenary of WWI we've created a timeline to show the remarkable fundraising activity of our members during this period. pdfDownload the pdf here.