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WORLD WAR 1 COMMEMORATIONS

 

EVENTS have been taking place throughout the UK and Europe since 2014 to commemorate WWI and will come to a climax this November. Clerks & Councils Direct has published projects and events from councils up and down the country and there is a major roundup in the November issue.

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MARKING A SOLEMN CENTENARY

BRIDLINGTON in East Yorkshire unveiled a Memorial Stone in its War Memorial Gardens in August, with a service attended by many local organisations. The stone honours the sacrifices made by many servicemen and women and also non-uniform war efforts like those of people who worked in munitions factories and farmers who continued to grow food. According to clerk Paula King, the project has been a good example of partnership working between the public and voluntary sectors, involving the town council, the Lords Feoffees of the Manor of Bridlington and the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

The town council has also produced special commemorative coins to mark the centenary of the end of WWI, which it will distribute to primary school children. The coins have been designed in a similar style to the hexagonal peace celebration medals that were presented to children in 1919.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

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A ceremony was held at HAYWARDS HEATH War Memorial on 2 September to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Sgt Arthur George Knight winning the Victoria Cross. Sgt Knight was born in the Mid Sussex town and, as part of a nationwide initiative to commemorate all VC winners, a special stone was unveiled in his honour. He died from wounds the day after the action that gained him the VC.

The service was organised by the town council and Mid Sussex District Council, and was led by the mayor, Cllr James Knight, and district chairman Cllr Bruce Forbes. It was attended by numerous dignitaries, including Sir Nicholas Soames MP, and included the laying a wreath by children from Sgt Knight’s old school.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

                           

SEAFORD in East Sussex is planting 104 disease-resistant elm trees to remember its 104 WWI war dead, in an initiative called Elms for Armistice. The council has called for volunteers to assist its tree wardens and local conservation groups with the task. The trees are planned to be a lasting memorial.

Elms have been chosen as the county has the UK’s largest collection of surviving mature elms. They are also a vital habitat for the endangered white-letter hairstreak butterfly, colonies of which still survive locally.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

 

RODBOROUGH Parish Council in Gloucestershire has spent four years researching the identities of 60 men named on its WWI memorial and has funded the production of a commemorative book, six copies of which will be available as a public resource. With the collaboration of the Five Valleys Great War Researchers group, the project tells the story of a community and ordinary individuals changed by war.

The 240-page, A4-size book is illustrated with black-and white photos, and extra copies are available to purchase. A collaborative exhibition, “The Stroud Valleys in the Great War”, will be held at the Museum in the Park from 3–11 November.

As a further tribute, the council has had the war memorial tablet in the local church cleaned. It paid for the work partly through a fundraising event in April, a theatre production of Tommy Atkins and the Canary Girl, a powerful drama viewing the war through the eyes of a local couple.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

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KINGS BROMLEY Parish Council in Staffordshire, along with the Lichfield Diocesan Trust and the National Playing Fields Association, has drawn up a deed of dedication to secure a local playing field as a Centenary Field in Trust, which means it can never be used for any other purpose.

The Centenary Fields initiative, in partnership with the Royal British Legion, secures recreational spaces throughout the UK in perpetuity to honour the memory of those who lost their lives in WWI. The dedication ceremony, at 11am on 11 September, was attended by Angela Lewis of the Fields in Trust organisation.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

 

GODALMING Town Council in Surrey and Godalming Museum held a WWI exhibition that ran until 13 October and commemorated the 281 local men who gave their lives during the Great War. The council and museum have been researching their histories since 2014. The exhibition used archive materials to explore their lives and the impact of the war on local families, and invited visitors to explore the Roll of Honour.

On Remembrance Sunday, the Godalming War Memorial will be re-dedicated to remember all those who died in 20th century conflicts. The town council has had all 281 names from WWI and subsequent campaigns engraved on four new plaques, funded by public subscriptions and the Peter Caudle Memorial Trust.

To mark the centenary, the council will present a commemorative badge to every child taking part in the Remembrance Parade. It is also encouraging ex-servicemen and women to participate in this year’s event

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

 

The mayor of LLANELLI in Carmarthenshire hosted a two-day event in the council chamber in June as part of the Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90) project with the Royal British Legion, which marked 90 years since veterans and war widows visited the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres. Eight schools took part in the project and a poem was drafted for a wreath that was laid at the Menin Gate in August.

Llanelli Youth Theatre is staging seven performances of Oh! What a Lovely War in November, and two weeks of activity will also include a poppy art class and community exhibition. A seniors group is working with the RBL to knit poppies for the commemoration, and 12 silhouettes signifying lost soldiers will be displayed in and around Llanelli in the lead-up to 11 November.

CARMARTHEN Town Council meanwhile will be participating in the commemoration by holding a ceremony to light a beacon in the town centre on 11 November, at 7pm.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

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LYNTON AND LYNMOUTH in Devon staged a WWI exhibition at St Mary the Virgin church in Lynton over the summer, profiling all those who fought and died and whose names are recorded on the war memorial, with a brief family history.

Volunteers raised money to clean the three memorials in the twin towns, renovate the Lynton War Roll of Honour and fund a community celebration. This will feature a 25-metre “poppy banner” draped across the town hall and an eight-metre painted depiction of the trenches by volunteer local artists.

The event will include a parade and a special service where the Roll of Honour will be represented to the community. This will be followed by a free community meal at the town hall with games and entertainment, then a muffled peal, cannon salute and lighting of the RBL beacon. Any surplus funds will be donated to armed forces charities.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

 

FROME in Somerset, like many other communities, will be observing the Annual Act of Remembrance, which falls exactly 100 years after the Armistice was declared at the eleventh hour on 11 November 1918. Wreaths will be laid in memory of the fallen, and also to mark the centenary of local regiments and of the RAF.

Many other events are being held in the town and surrounding villages. They include an exhibition looking at the effects of the war on the local population at Frome Heritage Museum; a staging of the play A Journey’s End at the Merlin Theatre; and the unveiling of a new war memorial in St Mary the Virgin Church in Upton Scudamore.

Perspex silhouettes will stand in many public venues to honour the fallen and knitted poppies and wooden crosses will also recall the 224 local men who died. There will be a Garden of Remembrance in the foyer of the Frome Memorial Theatre, with a daily roll call of names, among other events.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

 

A number of women connected with YATE Town Council have been recognised in South Gloucestershire Council’s “Inspiring Women” Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, about the legacy of WWI in the area. The project includes women who have made significant contributions to local politics or to public service and industry over the past 100 years, and features an exhibition that will run at Yate Library for most of December.

Among those recognised are past and present Yate town councillors Margaret Bracey, Mary Draper, Gladys Nelson and Cllrs Sue Walker and Chris Willmore. Also honoured is former town clerk Susan Tubey.

Cllr John Ford, the current mayor, said: “I am so pleased that these women who have contributed so much to making Yate an open and inclusive society are getting due public recognition after so much dedication to our town.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

 

NEW MILTON Town Council in Hampshire has undertaken a series of initiatives, including a “Pack Up Your Troubles” concert on 3 November. There has been enthusiastic support for the RBL Silent Soldier Silhouettes campaign, with community donations enabling the council to install 18 silhouettes around the town.

Back in July, a commemorative event was held at the town’s Indian Army Obelisk. The monument is one of only two freestanding Indian Army memorials in Britain, and was recently re-designated with a Grade II listing.

It was funded by donations from staff at the Barton Convalescent Hospital, and was erected on 10 July 1917. The council has installed a historical information board, which was unveiled by the Indian Deputy High Commissioner.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

 

MOLD Town Council is hosting a Commemorative Concert at Theatr Clwyd on the evening of 11 November. The concert will include music and dance from the decades following WWI right up to the modern day, with performances from Flint Male Voice Choir and the Good Night Sweethearts, tributes to Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, an RAF Cadet Band and a Beatles tribute band, among others.

The event will pay tribute to soldiers from Mold and the surrounding villages who lost their lives in the conflict, and will support the Royal British Legion’s “ThankYou100” campaign, which thanks all those who fought and lived through WWI. Tickets cost £20, with proceeds going to the RBL and the mayor’s appeal.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

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NEWBURY Town Council in Berkshire has given its war memorial a deep clean in preparation for this year’s Remembrance Day parade and the national “Battle’s Over” tribute, which will see the lighting of a beacon as part of a nationwide commemoration.

The brass plaques listing all those who died in WWI and WWII have been polished by a specialist contractor, the stonework has been cleaned using a super-heated water treatment system and the black and gold railings have been repainted.

The council’s World Wars Working Group has organised a number of events in November, including a series of evening lectures and a WWI exhibition, which will run at the town hall from 9–19 November.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

                                                                                

WARMINSTER Town Council in Wiltshire has purchased three RBL “Thank You” silhouettes, one representing each of the three services. They have been positioned outside the Civic Centre and will be moved to the war memorial for the remembrance service on 11 November.

The town’s commemorations also included a “Warminster War Facts Trail” in late October. This involved children filling in missing words on an entry form containing 100 facts about WWI by following a trail around the town. The trail covered a range of topics from the part played by women and children in the war to the role of various local buildings. Twenty venues in the town centre participated, and the first prize was two tickets to an evening of music and entertainment, “In Flanders Fields”.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

 

SEAFORD Town Council in East Sussex has won Grade II listing for its main war memorial. The memorial, one of three in the town, is a tall example of a granite wheel-head cross and was unveiled in 1921. It commemorates 104 members of the local community and also seven men who died on service during the Second Boer War. Later inscriptions were added for 88 service personnel and 20 civilians who died in WWII. In 1952 it was moved from its original site on Dane Road to its current location on Sutton Park Road and was rededicated.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

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BICESTER Town Council in Oxfordshire has invited the families of those who lost their lives or served in WWI to join the Remembrance Day parade in their honour. Hundreds of serving soldiers will join veterans, the Royal British Legion and representatives from local organisations to march through the town.

As part of its Act of Remembrance, the council has installed three “Silent Soldier” silhouettes – a naval rating, an airman and a “Tommy” infantryman – in Garth Park. A further six silhouettes have been ordered from the RBL, and these will be placed in the churchyard at St Edburg’s Church ready for Remembrance Sunday. Wreaths will be laid on the war memorial, and thousands of red poppies will fall from the bell tower following a church service.

Cllr Richard Mould said: “The Silent Silhouettes are a visual reminder of all those who sacrificed their lives for our future. Bicester has long had links with the military and we felt they were a touching way to remember all those who died in the First World War and in conflicts since.”

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2018

 

STEEL SILHOUETTES

SWANLEY Town Council in Kent has received a £9,700 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project to mark the centenary. Schoolchildren will carry out research to identify all the fallen who lived in the town, recording their names, regimental numbers, the date they died and any supporting information. This will then be engraved onto steel silhouettes and mounted on a wall in the town centre.
It is estimated that around 120 steel silhouettes will be needed, and that they should last another 100 years to act as a constant reminder. Each costs £200 to create; local businesses have been very supportive but organisers are still looking for a number of sponsors in time for the unveiling.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

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CENTENARY FIELDS

FIELDS IN TRUST, the charity that protects the country’s green spaces, launched its Centenary Fields commemorative programme on 8 August. Every day at 11am until the anniversary of Armistice Day on 11 November, it is revealing the story of one Centenary Field in an online interactive map. At the conclusion of the programme, communities across the UK will demonstrate their gratitude to the WWI generation with a series of events and activities on these legally protected parks and green spaces.
The Centenary Fields Legacy campaign is being delivered in partnership with the Royal British Legion (RBL)’s “Thank You” project. It will highlight the stories of individual combatants and civilians, feature memorials to the fallen and will explore how parks and green spaces served the war effort – for example, providing timber for trenches. It will also protect parks and green spaces with a connection to WWI in perpetuity.
The first space to be featured was the War Memorial Park in COVENTRY (pictured), a 120-acre site where Centenary Fields was launched in July 2014 by the charity’s president, HRH the Duke of Cambridge.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

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130 POPPIES ON LAMP POSTS

Lamp posts in WINDERMERE AND BOWNESS in the Lake District have been decorated with poppies, each representing one of over 130 young men who died in the conflict. The idea came originally from Simone Backhouse of Bowness & Windermere Community Care Trust. She contacted the Royal British Legion, who supplied the poppies, and Windermere Town Council, which provided grant funding and support. Cumbria County Council also supported the project.
The poppies will remain in place until the end of November and businesses, churches and households are invited to photograph them and share the soldiers' names on social media.
Further events will be organised, culminating in the lighting of a beacon on the summit of Orrest Head on 11 November. The 100th anniversary of the RAF has also been marked, with a permanent red, white and blue planter designed for the Baddeley Clock Millennium Garden by town steward Gary Hancox.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

 

BEACON LIGHTING

NEWBURY Town Council’s World Wars Working Group is arranging a number of events in November to mark the anniversary. In 2016 the group organised a series of evening lectures to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, and similar lectures will take place on 15–17 November.
A popular WWI Exhibition will also be held again at the town hall from 9–19 November, highlighting the effects of the war on the Berkshire town. Residents have been asked to loan memorabilia. The final event will be the “Battle’s Over” beacon lighting on 11 November, which is part of a national initiative. The council is looking for local choirs to lead the singing of WWI songs to close the event.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

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COMMEMORATIVE BENCH

SYSTON Town Council in Leicestershire has installed a special commemorative bench to mark the centenary. It is situated in the town’s Central Park, facing the war memorial. The council is also organising a number of other initiatives to mark the centenary.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

 

THERE BUT NOT THERE

SOUTH NORTHAMPTONSHIRE Council (SNC) has placed the outlines of two British Tommies in its reception area as part of the national “There But Not There” project to remember the fallen. Like the sale of ceramic poppies in 2014, money made from the sale of Tommy outlines and other products will be shared among charities with military connections.
In June, Cllr Charles Manners reaffirmed SNC’s commitment to serving and former personnel by re-signing the Armed Forces Military Covenant, along with representatives from all the councils in the county. The covenant sets out the obligations of the government and communities to support serving personnel, veterans and their families.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

 

MEMORIAL BENCH

The village of HUMSHAUGH in Northumberland has unveiled a memorial bench decorated with poppies and figures of soldiers to honour those who served in WWI. It was made by David Ogilvie Engineering at a cost of around £700 and was funded by the parish council. It has been placed next to the existing war memorial, which in 2016 was listed as a building of special interest as part of Historic England’s WWI commemoration project.
The village will hold a special commemorative service on 11 November to remember the 105 local men who served in the conflict. Resident Jen Ogle has researched their lives and the service, called “Humshaugh Remembers Its Own”, will involve the North Tyne Voices choir and Humshaugh Crown Players.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

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CARPET BED

Gostrey Meadow in FARNHAM in Surrey featured a carpet bed of flowers commemorating the end of WWI this summer. Over 4,000 plants were used to create the 3x3-metre design, which depicted a lone soldier against a Union flag and a cross. The design was commissioned by Farnham in Bloom and sponsored by the Farnham Lions.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

 

WWI ARTWORK TRAIL

A WWI Trail was formally opened in BURY ST EDMUNDS in Suffolk in July by the mayor of St Edmundsbury, Cllr Margaret Marks. She was joined by the artists who created it, along with representatives of the organisers, the My WiSH Charity and Our Bury St Edmunds, and sponsors and supporters.
The trail features 18 pieces of artwork in locations including the Abbey Gardens, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, St John’s Church, the Guildhall, the Arc Shopping Centre and a variety of local businesses. The pieces include a tank, a wooden cross, a stained glass window, a serpentine trench, an oak book and a zeppelin. There is also a bike to commemorate the Suffolk Cycling Battalion, which was the inspiration for the initiative.
The artworks will eventually be auctioned, with funds going to My WiSH’s Every Heart Matters appeal, which is aiming to raise £500,000 to help create an integrated cardiac centre at the West Suffolk Hospital.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

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VICTORIA CROSS

BLANDFORD FORUM Town Council held a special ceremony in April to remember Private Jack Thomas Counter of the King’s Liverpool Regiment, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions near Boisieux St Marc in France in 1918.
The event was attended by the Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset, Col Oliver Chamberlain, the High Sheriff Mrs Jacqueline Swift DL, Jack’s great-niece Jackie Counter, members of the RBL and a variety of dignitaries and members of the public.
Private Counter, who was born in 1898, volunteered as a runner to carry vital information on enemy positions from the front line under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. He had already seen five runners killed, but his actions enabled his commanding officer to organise and launch a counter-attack.
He subsequently carried five more messages to company HQ under a heavy artillery barrage. The London Gazette reported: “Private Counter's extraordinary courage in facing almost certain death … produced a most excellent impression on his young and untried companions.”
Jack Counter was made the first freeman of Blandford Forum on 19 June 1918 and was awarded the VC by King George V at Buckingham Palace later that month. He settled in Jersey after the war, becoming a postman and an active member of the RBL. He died in Blandford in 1970, on a return visit to the family home. A commemorative VC paving stone was unveiled at the town’s remembrance service in 2014.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

 

TEN TOMMIES FROM THAME

THAME Remembers, a four year project to research names on the Oxfordshire town’s war memorial and to visit the graves of all those commemorated across four continents, will culminate with a production at Thame Players Theatre in November. Conceived, written and performed by members of the community, Ten Tommies from Thame will mark the centenary of the Armistice by telling the story of ten local men who signed up for active service in August 1914.
Inspired by research undertaken for the project, it will follow them from their civilian occupations to their training with the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, and through their experiences on the Western Front to an emotional homecoming for those who survived the conflict. There will be two performances on 9 and 10 November and tickets are priced at £6.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

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100 FLOWER BED

WORKINGTON Town Council in Cumbria has been working with the Royal British Legion and other organisations to prepare for the WWI centenary, with a group meeting every month to discuss plans.
The council has created a special “100” flower bed near the Cenotaph in Vulcan Park, planted with scarlet flax seeds which will bloom in September. In November the bed will be covered in bark, allowing people to add their own poppies and messages. Two silent soldiers will also be installed, and other activities will include poppy-making workshops, a ball and concerts.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

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 YORKSHIRE WOLDS SOLDIERS OF THE GREAT WAR

A clerk’s work has led to her writing a book about Yorkshire soldiers in WWI. In February 2017 Jill Pick, clerk to SKERNE AND WANSFORD Parish Council in East Yorkshire, received an email from a Ministry of Defence genealogist about a soldier whose remains had been recovered from the Somme battlefields and identified by DNA.
Pte Henry Parker’s family had lived around the corner from her, and many older people in the village remembered his sister Minnie. Realising that she had a photograph of his father, John Parker, a sexton at Wansford Church, Jill set about tracing his family.
She attended a military funeral for Pte Parker in May 2017 at the Warlencourt British Cemetery in France, a century after his death. Later, with the help of the Richmond-based Green Howards Museum, she organised a memorial service in the village.
Afterwards, she turned her attention to the other names on the village war memorial, researching in the archives of the Driffield Times, where she had worked as a journalist. She uncovered numerous letters from the Western Front which, along with war diaries, she linked to the campaigns in the which the men fought. The result was her book, Yorkshire Wolds Soldiers of the Great War.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2018

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BUNTING PROJECT TO HONOUR WAR DEAD

The mayor of FAVERSHAM in Kent, Cllr Shiel Campbell, officially launched the town’s World War I Bunting Project on 13 October 2017. The project will commemorate all 243 local men who lost their lives during the Great War. Relatives, individuals and groups have been invited to make a piece of bunting, which will include the name of each person in a design of their choice. The completed bunting will be displayed during November 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of the war. Cllr Mike Cosgrove said: “The town council's 2018 centenary commemorations have begun with the launch of two major projects, bunting with the names of each serviceman killed and a public appeal to set their names in stone in the memorial garden.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2018

Left to right: Cllr Mike Cosgrove, deputy clerk Adrienne Begent, clerk Louise Bareham, Cllr Shiel Campbell, Cllr Claire Belsom and Tom Gates, president of Faversham Royal British Legion.


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NEW TREES TO BE A LASTING ASSET

An avenue of 50 trees was planted on public open space in GILLINGHAM in Dorset on 15–16 November by town council grounds staff and volunteers. Twenty common oaks and 30 poplars were planted at Lower Lodden and Ham Farm. In medieval times, Gillingham Royal Forest was a hunting area and timbers from its trees were used in royal palaces and for shipbuilding. The new trees fall within the boundary of the Royal Forest and will serve as a living heritage feature and a valuable amenity asset. The project was funded with developer money, and local business also contributed. The mayor, Cllr Belinda Ridout, said: “The tree planting coincides with the commemoration of the end of WWI, so the trees will be a memorial to all the local people who lost their lives in the Great War.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2018

Employees from local firm Merck used community time to help with the planting



 

SILENT SOLDIERS

NEW MILTON Town Council is supporting the Royal British Legion Hampshire & Isle of Wight Silent Soldier campaign to mark the centenary anniversary of the end of WWI. Silent Soldiers are life-size silhouettes that will stand at locations around the town in November and December 2018. Town clerk Graham Flexman said: “Silent Soldiers will appear on buildings, in gardens of remembrance, at roundabouts and entrances to the town.” The council is encouraging local groups, organisations and individuals to support the campaign, and silhouettes can be sponsored at a cost of £250 each. The town will hold its Remembrance Day Parade and wreath-laying ceremony on 11 November at the War Memorial Recreation Ground, and in the evening residents will join the national Battle’s Over event with the lighting of a beacon at Barton cliff-top.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2018

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RIBBON OF POPPIES

SEVENOAKS Town Council in Kent and Sevenoaks in Bloom are participating in the national Ribbon of Poppies scheme. In addition to hanging baskets and flowering troughs, poppies will be planted at strategic locations by the Royal British Legion, Scouts, Guides, Cadets and other organisations. Individuals will be asked to knit red poppies, which will be used to adorn railings. The council has a budget for the displays but is also encouraging businesses to donate and to get involved by planting window boxes, troughs and planters and to drum up support via social media. As part of the campaign, council staff and primary school children planted poppies outside Greatness Cemetery on 21 March. Further planting is planned at other locations over the coming weeks.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2018

 

PEACE PARTY

DUNSTABLE Town Council in Bedfordshire is recreating a Peace Party for local children who may be going through a difficult time, who have overcome adversity or have over-achieved and need recognition. It is asking residents to nominate local eight- to 18-year-olds to attend the party, which will take place during its WWI event. Nominees will get a free lunch and entertainment and will learn how the conflict affected the community. Peace Parties were invented after WWI to give something back to children who had suffered during the war, and eventually evolved into the street parties we know today.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2018

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WAR HORSE

FEATHERSTONE in West Yorkshire has secured a £50,000 grant from funding body WREN for a WWI memorial sculpture entitled “War Horse, A Place of Peace To Be Together”. The money, from the FCC Community Action Fund, will fund work by artists Cod Steaks at the Mill Pond Meadows Nature Reserve. The idea for the sculpture stemmed from a research project funded through the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, which resulted in a book, Featherstone in the First World War. With the aid of the Woodland Trust, a schools engagement project saw a commemorative wood planted in 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of war. In total 353 trees have been planted, one for each resident who lost their life. The War Horse will be a “long-lasting commemorative artwork of regional and national signifcance”, according to the council. A successful application to Arts Council England recently funded a period of community engagement with local schools and residents. An artist’s impression shows how the monument will look when completed.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2018

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WHEEL-HEAD CROSS

SEAFORD Town Council in East Sussex has won Grade II listing for its main war memorial. The memorial, one of three in the town, is a tall example of a granite wheel-head cross and was unveiled in 1921. It commemorates 104 members of the local community and also seven men who died on service during the Second Boer War. Later inscriptions were added for 88 service personnel and 20 civilians who died in WWII. In 1952 it was moved from its original site on Dane Road to its current location on Sutton Park Road and was rededicated.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2018

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RESTORATION

WESTON-SUPER-MARE Town Council in Somerset has received a grant of £6,200 from the Memorials Grants Scheme to restore its Grove Park War Memorial. The scheme is supported by the First World War Memorials Programme, run by the War Memorials Trust, and Historic England. Work will include the casting of a new bronze olive branch to replace a missing original, and the angel statue will be patinated to restore its original colour. The plinth will benefit from repointing, restoration of the plaques and microcrystalline wax coatings. It is hoped to complete the work in time for the centenary. The project is being led by the town council, with support from North Somerset Council and Weston Civic Society. The work will be carried out by specialist contractor Richard Rogers Conservation of Leatherhead, Surrey.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2018

 

RINGING OUT FOR PEACE

The organisers of BATTLE’S OVER, a major event marking the centenary of the end of World War I, are appealing to church bell ringers to take part in “Ringing Out for Peace” to commemorate the Armistice. They want more than 1,000 churches and cathedrals across Britain to participate by ringing their bells simultaneously at 7.05pm on the night of 11 November 2018. Battle’s Over is a day-long commemoration taking place throughout the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and at scores of locations overseas. It has links to four charities: the Royal Naval Association, the Soldiers’ Charity (formerly the Army Benevolent Fund), the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Merchant Navy Association. For more information, visit: www.brunopeek.co.uk

 

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INDIAN ARMY MEMORIAL

NEW MILTON Town Council in Hampshire is planning a commemorative occasion at the town’s Indian Army Obelisk on 10 July. The monument is one of only two freestanding Indian Army memorials in Britain, and has recently been re-designated with a Grade II listing. It was funded by donations from staff at the Barton Convalescent Hospital, and was erected on 10 July 1917. It has two inscriptions, one in English and the other a translation in Urdu. The council will install a historical information board, which the Indian Deputy High Commissioner will unveil after a brief service and wreath-laying. Harmeet Brar Singh of the Sikh Council Hampshire commented: “This special monument is absolutely an amazing tribute. New Milton welcomed the Indian soldiers with open arms and made them feel at home. The event is a fantastic time for us to come together again.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2018

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REDEDICATION

FIVEHEAD Parish Council in Somerset has rededicated its village war memorial, after being awarded a grant of almost £2,000 by the War Memorials Trust for renovation work. The memorial commemorates 14 men from the village who lost their lives in both World Wars. Nearly 100 people attended the ceremony on the village green on 26 May. The date marked the centenary of the deaths of Lance Corporal Frank Male and Lance Bombardier George Chorley, the last two men from the village to die in WWI. Relatives attended from all over the country and wreaths were laid by parish council chairwoman Cllr Kate Beacham and Col (Retd) Tony Potter on behalf of the Royal British Legion. Rector Scott Patterson conducted the service, and the last post was sounded by Petty Officer Chris Palucsis of the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band. An ebook has been published to honour those who fought in both wars, with proceeds going to the RBL. Fivehead’s Military Men by Pip Brett tells the stories of those who lost their lives and those who survived.

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2018

 

THANKFUL VILLAGE

WYSALL in Nottinghamshire is one of the few official “Thankful” villages in the UK, having seen all 14 of its men who went to WWI return home safely. The clock at the village church is a Thankful Clock, which was subscribed to by residents in 1919. To mark the centenary, Wysall and Thorpe Parish Council is designing a commemorative plaque to stand on land in front of the village hall, opposite the church. This will be blessed by the rector, the Rev Dr Stephen Hippisley-Cox, after a special Remembrance Service in November. According to clerk Mike Elliott, a bonfre will be lit at 7pm and the church bells will be rung at 7.05pm.

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2018

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WW1 LETTER BOX

SEVENOAKS in Kent has numerous activities planned. It is participating in the national Ribbon of Poppies campaign and is basing its annual entry to the South & South East in Bloom competition on the theme. Planting throughout the town will be in red, using poppies where possible. Volunteers have knitted hundreds of poppies, which will be displayed on railings at The Vine gardens; the mayor, Cllr Roderick Hogarth (pictured with the mayoress), began the installation on 11 June. Other projects include a recreation of an archway that welcomed soldiers home and a Sopwith Camel bi-plane made of willow to commemorate the RAF’s centenary. There will be talks by historians, and young people are being encouraged to participate by writing letters to family members or local people who served. Letters will be collected in a WW1 Letter Box opposite the war memorial and will be available to view online. Rocks are also being painted with poppies and hidden in public places for children to find. Each of the 226 rocks bears a name from the war memorial.