The Royal British Legion launches Battle of Passchendaele virtual reality content with Dan Snow

Legion VR

Content available to the British public for free on britishlegion.org.uk/passchendaele100

To commemorate the centenary of the First World War Battle of Passchendaele (also known as the Third Battle of Ypres), The Royal British Legion has partnered with historian Dan Snow to create a series of unique and immersive virtual reality videos, from the experiences of those on the front line to nurses battling to treat the flood of casualties.

The videos invite viewers to travel back to 1917 and live life on the Frontline through first-hand audio accounts, diary excerpts, archive film and photos. It is available for the public to experience online for free via the Legion’s website and YouTube channel.

1,000 free cardboard VR headsets are also available to request from the charity’s website and a limited number are also available in the Legion’s 16 Pop-In centres located around the UK.

Fought between July and November 1917, the battle saw an estimated 550,000 Allied and German troops killed, wounded or lost, and remains one of the most notorious battles of the First World War.

Legion VR2

Dan Snow, comments: “The Battle of Passchendaele was a hugely significant battle which has become infamous for the number of casualties and the sheer scale of the mud, which was even worse than the Somme. The battle saw an estimated 550,000 Allied and German troops killed, wounded or lost for very few gains by the Allies. Through the use of 360 cameras, archive footage and diary extracts I’ve helped The Royal British Legion to create a series of virtual reality videos which enables the British public to step in, experience the conditions which met the soldiers 100 years ago, and view the battle in a unique and immersive way.”

Bob Gamble, Head of Engagement at The Royal British Legion, comments: “The Royal British Legion is the national custodian of Remembrance, safeguarding the memory of those who fought and died in conflict. Along with our welfare and support work, remembrance is at the heart of what the charity does. With the help of Dan Snow, we’ve created this VR content to help bring the Battle of Passchendaele to the British Public in a new and innovative format to commemorate this important date in our history.”

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Notes to Editors:

  1. The Royal British Legion’s work is encapsulated in its motto: Live On – to the memory of the fallen and the future of the living. The Legion is the nation’s biggest Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is the national custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is well known for the annual Poppy Appeal, and its emblem the red poppy. www.britishlegion.org.uk

Background in The Battle of Passchendaele

  • This year marks the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, officially known as the Third Battle of Ypres, Passchendaele which began on 31st Julyand finished between 6th – 10th November 1917.
  • The eventual capture of what remained of Passchendaele village by British and Canadian forces on 6 November finally gave British commander Haig an excuse to call off the offensive and claim success.
  • Officially known as the Third Battle of Ypres, Passchendaele became infamous for the scale of casualties and the mud.
  • When the offensive finally came to a halt, the Battle of the Passchendaele had claimed 310,000 casualties from Allied countries.
  • Passchendaele is particularly significant due to the huge loss of life. There were an estimated 60,083 deaths during the Battle period with 5,977 recorded on the first day of Battle.

 Pop-in centre locations

Aylesbury, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Colchester, Derby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton, Swindon

For further information please contact: Alex Kent, Public Relations Officer, The Royal British Legion on akent@britishlegion.org.uk / 0203 053 7316 / 07789 618 053

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