News

The Jewish Legion 1915-1920

The Jewish Legion was four battalions formed in the First World War entirely of Jewish soldiers.  The Battalions were badged Royal Fusiliers and became the Regiment's 38th, 39th, 40th and 42nd Battalions.  The Legion was formed with the hope of fulfilling the Zionist belief for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.  But the idea of a Jewish Legion was a controversial one and divided opinion within the Jewish community. 

The Fusilier Museum London began facilitating its first community research group earlier this month.  The group, which includes partners from the Jewish East End celebration society, has been researching the history of The Jewish Legion.

The research group have been using resources at the museum as well as further afield discovering the story of the Legion through original photographs, memoirs and objects.  They have received particular support from our friends at the Jewish Military Museum who celebrate the contribution made by Jewish men and women to the British Armed Forces.

The work will result in a small exhibition at Bethnal Green Library (Cambridge Heath Road, Nr Bethnal Green Tube) which opens on Tuesday 1st November and is available to view free in the Library foyer.  There are also two associated events:
Talk – The March of the 38th Battalion Royal Fusiliers through Whitechapel
Martin Sugarman (AJEX, Jewish Military Museum)dicusses the Jewish Legion with particular reference to the 38th Battalion's celebrated march.
1st November 2012
18.30 Bethnal Green Library
FREE
0203 166 6912 Booking Recommended
Walk-The Rise of Zionism in the East End
Clive Bettington discusses the various Zionists and anti- Zionists who had East End links and places emphasis on the formation of the Jewish Legion
Sunday 20th November
                              2pm Outside Bevis Marks Synagogue
                              £10 (JEECS members £8) www.jeecs.org.uk
                              07941 367 882 Booking recommended