The history of SSAFA is the history of the men and women of Britain’s Forces and their families.
The vision and drive of one man stands at the heart of the UK's oldest Armed Forces charity. In February 1885, as the Second Expeditionary Force set sail for Egypt, Major James Gildea wrote to The Times appealing for funds and volunteers to look after families left behind. Within three months, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association was born. Since then, we've supported millions of people, and millions more are eligible for help.
Through two World Wars and every subsequent conflict involving Britain, SSAFA has been here for our servicemen and women and their families. The ability to adapt quickly to their needs is still at the heart of everything we do. We never stand still, so our new services provide vital support wherever and whenever it is most needed.