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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 invites you to submit details of your plans, projects and ideas to be published in coming issues, with a roundup in November. Please send your stories and images by 10 September to clerkscouncils@ btinternet.com.

 

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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.

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2018

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SILENT SOLDIER

HAWARDEN Community Council has placed a “Silent Solder” silhouette opposite its war memorial to commemorate the end of WWI. The silhouette was a “thank you” from the Royal British Legion after Hawarden donated £250, the first community council in Flintshire to do so. It stands as a tribute to those who did not return home from the Great War. The council chairman, Cllr Alan Diskin, said: “The First World War was a human disaster, and therefore it’s extremely important to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ending of the conflict. The Silent Soldier campaign serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifice made by so many, including from the Hawarden community.

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2018

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MEMORIAL BENCHES

BARDNEY Group Parish Council in Lincolnshire has installed new benches to commemorate the two World Wars. The benches, manufactured by Scottish company David Ogilvie Engineering, have been placed on the edge of the village green, looking towards the parish war memorial. Council chairman Cllr Robert Webb said: “The council was delighted to find the WWI bench, which clearly depicts those who served. We then discovered a further design which honours those who fought in the Second World War. Bardney has strong military links and played a role in the war effort, so it was fitting that the second bench was also purchased.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2018

Pictured are Cllrs Charles Shaw, Malcolm Speed, Sally Zubic, John Zubic and vice-chairman Robin Darby with the WWI bench.