Submitted by: Rachel Aldighieri 24/03/2016
During the Great War of 1914-18, 1,117,077 Commonwealth servicemen were killed. As Custodian of Remembrance, The Royal British Legion is in the privileged and responsible position of ensuring these servicemen are remembered. To launch the Legion’s World War 1 centenary anniversary, a door drop campaign invited people to honour one of the fallen, with the aim of making sure that every one would be remembered.
Many of us are able to trace family connections back to the Great War and can relate to the losses felt in every city, town and village. The campaign used this connection by featuring individual soldiers from local and ‘Pals’ regiments in the door drop recipient’s area to increase relevance and empathy. The door drop landed on 4th August 2014, the 100th anniversary of the start of the war, to allow messages to piggyback on extensive national media coverage of the centenary. Recipients were selected using MOSAIC to match existing Legion supporters as closely as possible. This was overlaid with an affordability indexing tool to maximize income. A donation prompt amount of £19.14 was chosen, mirroring the start year of the war, to have maximum resonance.
A century on, people have lost any direct connection with the soldiers who died in World War I. The men who died have become a nameless group without obvious relevance to people today, although every one had a family, a home and a history. Whilst the Royal British Legion knew that many traditional supporters would stop to remember any conflict, it wanted these men to be remembered and honoured by a wider audience. The door drop approach aimed to return an identity to each individual, 100 years on, by sharing their name and regiment with someone living in the area they came from. This also tapped into a growing interest in local history and ancestry nationwide.