Showing posts with the label YMCAShow All
The World's Youngest YMCA Member

As part of the YMCA's holistic support for soldiers during the First World War, the organisation made arrangements for the loved ones of the 'dangerously wounded' to be able to visit them in the hospitals of northern …

Adventure and Tragedy: The Life of Mrs Alec-Tweedie

In the years before the First World War, Ethel Brilliana Tweedie had established herself as a pioneering woman. Writing under the name Mrs. Alec-Tweedie, she was one of the world's first female travel writers, journeying from…

'Something Doing Every Night': A Soldiers' Haven in Cairo

Throughout the First World War thousands of Australian soldiers disembarked in Egypt for their first taste of army life. After a month travelling by ship, the land they arrived in was one of great excitement and freedom, where th…

'Work on Which the Sun Never Sets': Mapping the YMCA Across the World

Welcome to my project mapping the YMCA! My aim is to show where the YMCA operated during the First World War by creating one map showing as many of their huts, hostels and theatres across the world as possible. The YMCA ran ov…

Finding 'The Dairy': Locating the YMCA's Huts in the Ypres Salient

At the height of the Third Battle of Ypres in late 1917, there were more than 80 YMCA huts located in the Ypres Salient, meaning that there was on average one establishment every three kilometres. The Association worked hard t…

The National Drink or National Sin? Temperance Campaigning in the First World War

In one of my very first blog posts about the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) during the First World War, I wrote on the row within the Association over the sale of alcohol within its recreation huts. The Associati…

The Way of Peace They Have Not Known: The Peace Programme of the YMCA

This week marks 100 years since the celebration across Britain of 'Peace Day', the Bank Holiday to celebrate the end of the First World War and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. A Victory Parade in central Londo…

The Spirit of Victory: Robert Baden-Powell and the YMCA

'To do good rather than be good' was how founder of the Scouting Movement, Lieutenant-General Robert Baden-Powell described the First World War work of the Young Men's Christian Association. In a 1916 letter he hai…

'The Greatest Story of All' - Easter in the First World War

As each Spring sees the supermarket shelves fill with chocolate eggs and chickens, many Christians begin to fret that the "real" meaning of Easter is being lost. Yet this fear is not new, and even during the First Wo…

The Women of the Y

YMCA poster, 1918 ( source ) During the First World War up to 40% of the YMCA's staff on the Western Front were female. It is likely that the percentage working in the British base camps was even higher. In part, this was…

'Serving the Mind, Body and Spirit: The YMCA's First World War Mission

This article is taken from a five minute presentation I gave to the Oxford History Graduate Network on 6th February 2018. It gives a brief overview of the YMCA's work in the First World War and introduces the starting point f…