The Blitz, Land Girls, and espionage: the Home Front is a staple of any history lesson on WWII today. However, the effort by those who stayed at home during WWI is often overlooked despite the large role ordinary citizens played in ensuring an Allied victory. At the Royal Over-Seas League for example, our founder Evelyn Wrench embarked on a series of fundraising schemes to support the needs of Allied troops and raised over £1,000,000 (£50,000,000 today). This money went towards providing comfort packs for the Troops, funding the Red Cross and purchasing 250 aeroplanes and seaplanes. 

At our Lunch & Learn on Saturday 3 November, over a delicious two-course meal with wine, our expert WWI Home Front historian Peter Grant, will uncover for you the extraordinary efforts citizens across the British Empire went to in order to raise money for the soldiers, animals and volunteers who were serving overseas.

Dr Peter Grant is one of the UK’s leading authorities on public and charitable funding. He devised the world’s first full masters-level programme in grantmaking and philanthropy at Cass Business School, where he is academic leader of the Philanthropy, Grantmaking and Social Investment, Charity Governance, Understanding the Voluntary Sector and Business and Society programmes. Peter has also written the definitive study of charity during the Great War, 'Philanthropy and Voluntary Action in the First World War', which was published in 2014.

The lecture will last approximately one hour and will feature insights into ROSL's fundraising techniques and how it tied into the wider effort across the British Empire. Afterwards, the discussion will continue at an intimate dinner with Peter.

We also have only two spaces left on our walking tour on Sunday 4 November, exploring how late on the night of the 31st May 1915, the citizens of London were suddenly thrown into the turbulent action of the First World War when German Army Airship LZ13 began releasing incendiary bombs onto the slumbering city. Our walk, run by a registered Blue Badge Guide, will trace the destruction of the first aerial attack on civilians, starting in Stoke Newington where the bombs claimed the life of their first victim: three-year-old Elsie Leggatt. Along the walk, discover what life was like in London during the nine bombing raids that took place between May 1915 and October 1917, how the authorities came up with a defence against an entirely new form of war, and how the city still carries the scars today.

Find out about these events and our other remembrance activities here.

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