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First donation to Save the Children was a £5 note from lawyer who prosecuted its founder

First donation to Save the Children was a £5 note from the lawyer who had just successfully prosecuted its founder, biographer reveals

  • Save the Children’s first donation was from a lawyer who prosecuted its founder 
  • Eglantyne Jebb was arrested in 1919 Trafalgar Square for giving leaflets
  • She had no permission to distribute the leaflets with photos of starving children 
  • She impressed prosecutor Sir Archibald Bodkin he offered to pay her £5 fine

The first donation to Save the Children was a £5 note from the lawyer who had just successfully prosecuted its founder, Eglantyne Jebb, her biographer revealed.

Miss Jebb was arrested in Trafalgar Square in 1919 for distributing leaflets that bore images of starving German and Austrian children.

Legally, she did not have a case as she did not have permission but her passion impressed prosecutor Sir Archibald Bodkin so much he offered to pay her £5 fine, biographer Clare Mulley told an audience at the Chalke Valley History Festival, sponsored by the Daily Mail. 

Eglantyne Jebb was arrested in 1919 Trafalgar Square for giving leaflets. She had no permission to distribute the leaflets with photos of starving children

Miss Jebb said she would pay her own fine, but took his money for a fund she named Save the Children.

Now, 100 years on, it helps youngsters in more than 60 countries.

Miss Jebb had been part of the Fight the Famine movement protesting against a blockade Britain maintained after the First World War that left cities such as Vienna starving, said Mrs Mulley, author of The Woman Who Saved the Children.

At Mansion House court, Sir Archibald did not spare her in his condemnation. But immediately after sentencing he offered Miss Jebb £5 because ‘she had won the moral case’, said Mrs Mulley.

Miss Jebb said she would pay her own fine, but took his money for a fund she named Save the Children. Sir Archibald (pictured) did not spare her in his condemnation. But immediately after sentencing he offered Miss Jebb £5 because ‘she had won the moral case’, said Mrs Mulley

Miss Jebb said she would pay her own fine, but took his money for a fund she named Save the Children. Sir Archibald (pictured) did not spare her in his condemnation. But immediately after sentencing he offered Miss Jebb £5 because ‘she had won the moral case’, said Mrs Mulley

Now, 100 years on, Save the Children helps youngsters in more than 60 countries

Now, 100 years on, Save the Children helps youngsters in more than 60 countries

The Chalke Valley History Festival near Salisbury, Wiltshire, is in its ninth year and tickets are still available to see top speakers

The Chalke Valley History Festival near Salisbury, Wiltshire, is in its ninth year and tickets are still available to see top speakers

‘Eglantyne said with great dignity “I can pay my own fine, thank you very much. But I’ll take your £5 and put it towards helping these children. I’ll set up a fund and we’ll call it the Save the Children Fund”. So that’s how the charity was founded.’

In May that year the fund was officially opened at a packed public meeting in the Royal Albert Hall.

The Chalke Valley History Festival near Salisbury, Wiltshire, is in its ninth year and tickets are still available to see top speakers. 

Visit cvhf.org.uk for details.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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