SSAFA was the only national military charity in existence when war was declared in 1914 and the video, which was released on 10 August, marks 100 years since the launch of the National Relief Fund. Part way through the film, a group of SSAFA Cyprus Professionals and Volunteers can be seen singing along in front of the RAF Akrotiri helicopter.The video also features the Ghurkas, the Red Arrows and a host of famous faces, including Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, Alan Titchmarsh, former soldier and X Factor contestant Jonjo Kerr and vocal group Blake.
During World War One, Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag was sung by men marching off to war. SSAFA was there to look after the families on the Home Front and is still here for our Forces family today.
The video has already been picked up by the global media, including the BBC and the Daily Mail, to name a few. The charity hopes it will become a viral sensation and work its way back into the hearts and minds of the public in the same way it did during World War One.
The new recording has been supported by Aubrey Powell, the original composer’s grandson, who stars in the film alongside those who have benefitted from SSAFA’s support.Members of the Military Wives Choir, lead the public and a host of veterans, serving personnel and young cadets, in a rousing rendition of the song in front of London’s Tower Bridge on Sunday.
Kirsty Bushell, Vice National Chair of SSAFA, says:“We were thrilled when Aubrey gave us his blessing to record the song for the WWI Centenary. It’s been a great way to bring everyone together – those we’ve supported through difficult times, and those who support us in providing that help. When War was declared in 1914, SSAFA was the only organisation delivering help to the families of those going off to fight. We were there for them then, and we’re still here for them now. The words of this incredibly famous song remind us of how resilient people are, and that even in the darkest of times we still find the ability to ‘smile, smile, smile.’ We hope this film will help people to do just that.”
To show your support watch and share SSAFA’s Pack Up Your Troubles video here..