Children Raising Funds During Wartime

The Overseas Club and Empire Day

Children contributed to the war effort in a number of ways. They collected eggs for wounded soldiers and sailors, sent parcels to servicemen, and wrote letters to soldiers. They also contributed money to fundraising appeals to send parcels to servicemen at the front. 

The girls at Bridlington Girls’ High School organised a Christmas tea party in 1915 for 100 younger children whose fathers were away fighting at the front. The girls also made gifts such as shirts, bed-jackets, socks, slippers and plum puddings which they sent to hospitals and to servicemen. 

In 1914 a charity called the Overseas Club started an appeal to schoolchildren to raise money to send Christmas presents to soldiers and sailors serving overseas.  Children were each asked to bring a minimum of one penny, roughly 50p in today’s money, to school for their teachers to collect. The money was used to buy cigarettes, tobacco, socks and chocolate to send to those on the front line.  

A similar appeal on Empire Day in May 1915 raised over three million pennies, and the Christmas appeal was repeated in 1915. The Overseas Club sent certificates to thank children who raised a certain amount of money. 

Curriculum links:

KS3/4 History – World War One
KS3/4 Citizenship – Dealing with conflict, types of conflict

Learning objectives: 

Knowledge of the role children played in the Great War
Understanding that all members of society were expected to play their part for the war effort
Skills in analysing and interpreting historical evidence

Discussion ideas:

Talk about the fundraising methods used during the First World War. How do they compare with fundraising today? What is the same, and what has changed? 

Activity ideas: 

Look at the Christmas 1915 appeal leaflet from the Overseas Club (above)
  • What kind of language does the leaflet use to encourage children to contribute to the fund? 
  • How is the leaflet trying to make them feel? 
  • Do you think it would be successful as a fundraising appeal? Why/why not? 
Design your own Christmas appeal to help soldiers at the front. Think about:
  • Who you are going to help, and how?
  • What sort of groups are you going to target with your fundraising appeal?
  • What you want them to do?
  • How would you persuade them to do it?
  • How you might reach them with your message? 
View other relevant resources on My Learning or scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of related links and resources on this topic.



 
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