Keeping Faith (ePub)
For the millions who had fought in the Great War, and for their families, the 'land fit for heroes' turned out to be an illusion; instead there was suffering and deprivation. Out of this, on 1 July 1921 was born the British Legion. In the years that followed the Legion fought for justice for the ex-service community, meanwhile seeking to protect them. It introduced the Poppy Appeal and insisted on an annual act of national Remembrance for the fallen. It went to extraordinary lengths to try to prevent another war, ultimately finding itself in controversial discussions with Hitler. Even after the Second World War the Legion's work was far from over; the war-disabled and the war widows seemed to have been forgotten in the new welfare state. Remembrance itself appeared to be under threat as the memory of war receded. There were more battles to be fought, while conflicts such as the Gulf War brought fresh problems. Perhaps most inspiring is the human aspect. Those who have done the Legion's work represent every class of society, from admirals and former private soldiers to poppy collectors. But they have one thing in common: compassion for all who have suffered in the service of the country. This is their story too.