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Royal British Legion uses augmented reality to bring Passchendaele to life

Royal British Legion uses augmented reality to bring Passchendaele to life

is using to bring stories from the Battle of Passchendaele to life in a campaign to connect with young audiences.

The idea expands on the success of the charity’s ‘Every Pin Tells a Tale’ campaign, which was created by Geometry UK. This saw the Royal British Legion commission limited-edition Passchendaele 100 Poppy Lapel Pins to commemorate the 60,083 soldiers who died at the Battle of Passchendaele. British artillery shell fuses and earth samples were collected from the Passchendaele battlefields and melted down to create 60,083 poppy pins to honour and remember every British soldier who fell during battle.

Sales from the campaign help generate income that provides lifelong support to all members of the British Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

With global Augmented Reality [AR] partner Blippar, Geometry is now bringing the human stories behind the pins to life in AR. Each pin comes in a commemorative box that when scanned with the Blippar app transforms into a muddy trench giving people a glimpse of Passchendaele as they hear the stories of the fallen soldiers.

Each story, activated by the app, shines a light on personal triumphs, families and friends left behind by soldiers, pilots and nurses from across the Commonwealth.

One tells of Captain Noel Chavasse, British medical doctor and Olympic athlete, the only British serviceman awarded a Victoria Cross twice during the First World War.  Hit by shell splinters in 1916 while rescuing men in no-man’s land, it’s said that Chavasse got as close as 25 yards to the German line, where he found three men and continued throughout the night under a constant rain of sniper bullets and bombing. Performing similar heroics in the early stages of Passchendaele in August 1917 he was awarded a second VC, and died of wounds two days later.

Karl Turley, Business Director, Geometry UK, said:

“By blending sharp human behaviour insight and popular , stories from a century ago are brought to today’s audience helping create a much better understanding of the experiences the brave endured.”

Omaid Hiwaizi, Global Head of Experience Strategy, Blippar added:

“This showcases perhaps the most powerful application of AR for brands: to enhance and deepen the product propositioning. We worked closely with Geometry Global and The Legion to deeply understand the physical product and its story. That’s how we’ve managed to create a portal into the world of the soldier in a muddy trench.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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