Tag Archives: WW1
11 November 2018 marks a significant date in the history of the world. At 11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month, the First World War – the Great War – ended. Germany signed the armistice prepared by Britain and France and the guns fell silent. Britain, France and all of the countries that supported them, celebrated the end of a heinous war that lasted four years and four months. Millions died, not only in battle but from the terrible living conditions they faced during that time.
Since then, the red poppy has become a symbol of peace and remembrance used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war. It was inspired by the WWI poem In Flanders Fields then adopted by military veterans’ groups in parts of the British Empire and then throughout the world.
Lest We Forget
Remembrance Day 2018 commemorations will take on a special centenary meaning for all those involved. Across the country, beacons will be lit and special services taking place to mark the 100 years since the end of the war. Weymouth is conducting a Beacon Lighting event, known nationally as the `Battles Over’ taking place at the Nothe Fort starting at 6pm on 11 November. The event will feature performances from the Bovington Military Wives Choir and the Decadettes followed by a service and will encompass elements of the traditional Remembrance Service normally held at Holy Trinity Church.
In Wales, Gwent’s St Woolos Cathedral will host a free day of events to mark the centenary with music from the U3A choir, Newport rugby club choir, and the local Boys’ Brigade band. Re-enactments will include a World War One surgeon, a Monmouthshire Regiment infantryman, and a member of the Royal Flying Corps. Caerleon Remembers will mark the centenary with a tribute of words and music from local choirs as well as an exhibition. The concert will take place on Saturday, November 10 from 7pm at St Cadoc’s Church. 100 red poppies will also be seen on the Wales Air Ambulance (WAA) aircraft as a sign of respect.
Poppy of Honour 2018
In Wincanton, a commemorative Poppy of Honour has already been unveiled. Over 250,000 individual volunteers and businesses have joined forces to create an eight-foot steel and glass poppy-shaped sculpture, the first memorial of its kind, dedicated to the 1,117,635 British and Commonwealth service personnel, killed or declared missing in action in the war. 1,117,635 individual poppies are contained within, all labelled with the details of the men and women who died. In early 2019, the Poppy will embark on a major tour around the United Kingdom and Southern Ireland, before being displayed at the Tower of London.
And in Bristol, The Bristol Festival of Remembrance will take place at Bristol Cathedral on 10 November, presented by Terry Waite CBE. The evening begins with orchestral pieces, choral works, readings and a performance by local children, and the night will finish with a performance of Karl Jenkins’ The Peacemakers, a piece dedicated to all those who have lost their lives during armed conflict. On 11 November, also at Bristol Cathedral is Duruflé’s Requiem performed by Bristol Cathedral Choir. Admission is free.
Finally, the annual act of remembrance at Wells Cathedral this year will feature John Rutter’s Requiem, a free event taking place from 3-4pm on 11 November followed by a devotional service, interspersed with War Poetry.
World War I claimed the lives of over 41 million people across the globe. This makes it one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. At least 2 million died from diseases and 6 million went missing, presumed dead. One third of all casualties resulted from the 1918 flu pandemic. In military terms, more than 8.7 million men served in the British Army at some time during the four year conflict.
Throughout the years, Remembrance Day has been marked with events from services to exhibitions to concerts and this year is no different. However, many events are now giving the public the opportunity to view them for longer than the traditional Remembrance timescale.
Arts Remembrance Events
On 1 July 2016, over 1400 voluntary participants in WWI uniform appeared unexpectedly in locations across the UK. This was a reminder of the 19,240 men killed exactly one hundred years previously on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Having travelled across Wales, the exhibition will be based at the Theatre Royal Plymouth from 6 to 25 November 2017 and then Aberystwyth Arts Centre from 20 January to 14 April 2018.
In Bristol at the Hippodrome Theatre, the touring show War Horse will be running from 18 October to 11 November 2017. Michael Morpurgo’s tale of bravery, loyalty, and the extraordinary bond between a young recruit and his horse is set in the First World War.
Actors work with life-sized puppets by the internationally renowned Handspring Puppet Company. The author discovered that over a million horses died in the war just on the British side with most of the surviving animals sold off after the war was over to French butchers. This became the inspiration for his book and subsequent play.
In Bovington, Dorset, the Tank Museum is hosting the official remembrance service on behalf of the Bovington Garrison on 12 November 2017. This is attended by serving soldiers, veterans and their families as well as being open to visitors. A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Royal Armoured Corps Memorial, outside the Museum. There may be a shortage of space but the Tank Museum itself is home to many historic vehicles from the WWI era and is worth a visit. New this year is the Tiger Tank Collection, where in a world first, the Tank Museum has brought every member of the Tiger Tank family together in one display.
On 7 November 2017, the Senedd in Cardiff is hosting a talk from Professor Alan Llwyd for the fourth annual First World War commemorative lecture. Alan Llwyd’s lecture will commemorate the life and work of Hedd Wyn, a centenary on from his death. Poet Hedd Wyn was tragically killed during WWI at the Battle of Passchendaele. He posthumously won the Chair at the Birkenhead National Eisteddfod in 1917.
On Remembrance Sunday, churches and communities throughout the UK will be honouring the fallen and injured of all wars and conflicts. Thus continuing a celebration of the lives of those who fought in the First World War; a tradition that has lasted a century.
Armistice Day has hit the headlines, at least on the back pages of the tabloids, thanks to the Prime Minister’s intervention in the debate over whether international footballers should wear the poppy emblem on the field on 11 November.
Calling the ban decision “utterly outrageous”, Theresa May has backed the FA and SFA’s rejection of the ban on England and Scotland’s footballers wearing black armbands bearing poppies in their 11 November World Cup qualifying match.
Although FIFA insists that the football laws prohibit political or religious messages from players’ kit, many, including the FA believe that displaying poppies represents respect for the fallen. In a statement, the FA said: “The FA intend to pay appropriate tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by having the England team wear black armbands bearing poppies in our fixture on Armistice Day.”
The strength of feeling echoes the sentiment around the country about remembering the Great War. Events are taking place this weekend across the nation, with many centred in the South West and Wales. On Saturday 12 November 2016, the University of Worcester’s annual Women’s History Conference is taking place with debates about the significance of the First World War as an agent of social change for women. This conference will focus on women’s voluntary involvement in charities, organisations and local politics.
Tanks and Poppies
Moving further south, the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset is continuing its exhibition of the story of the tank, from its invention in 1915 through the 20th century and into the future. On 13 November, a commemorative service will take place, attended by serving soldiers, veterans and their families and members of the public. The service will take place in the Cold War Hall with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Royal Armoured Corps Memorial, followed by a unique display of poppies dropped from planes. The service is free to attend on a first-come, first-served basis.
In Wales, Caernarfon Castle is the first location in Wales to host the ‘Poppies: Weeping Window’, a display by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. The concept is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies, originally seen at the Tower of London as part of the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’. Caernarfon Castle is hosting a number of WWI commemoration events, as part of the Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 national centenary programme of remembrance.
The Devon Remembers Heritage Project is giving local people a chance to explore the county’s experience in the First World War, led by the South West Heritage Trust. There will be a programme of high profile events, talks and activities around Devon as well as First World War learning events.
At the core of the project is the establishment of the Devon Remembers Collection within the Devon Archives and Local Studies Collection, a collection of archive material related to Devon’s contribution to the Great War, which will permanently available to all those interested.
Whatever the event, here at AC Services (Southern) we will be on hand to help with caterers, restaurants and pubs who may be staging commemorative events. If you need any advice or have any problems with your Rational ovens, contact us and we will be more than happy to help you.
This week marks a new era for the UK, which will be parting ways with the European Union. This historic and unprecedented event has already led to a furore of uncertainty and fear over our role and relationships with Europe.
This week also marks another historic event that involved a European alliance: 100 years ago on July 1, 1916, the Battles of the Somme began in France and raged until the end of the war, two years later.
So many people lost their lives at The Battle of the Somme that over the years, it has come to symbolise the tragic futility of World War I. The first day of the conflict remains the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army, where too many young, eager and impressionable men from the UK lost their lives. There were over 420,000 British casualties in the 141 days of the Somme including nearly 60,000 on the first day alone. The French lost 200,000 men and the Germans nearly 500,000.
While we are enjoying a year of sport with the Euros and the Olympics, it is interesting to note that the sporting ethos also rose during the Battle, with athletes and players from sports at all levels volunteering to enlist.
Entire teams formed ‘Pals’ Battalions serving alongside each other with battalions dedicated to athletes, footballers, and individual clubs and teams. From cricketers to boxers to footballers to Olympic stars, the sporting elite signed up to fight for their country. Many lost their lives and so the phrase the Lost Generation was attributed to them.
Events are, and have been taking place around the UK to remember the fallen. If you have the chance, visit Exeter Cathedral on July 1st where actors Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton are to feature in a Devon concert marking the Battle of the Somme centenary. The concert is a conclusion to a day of commemorations beginning with the unveiling of a major art project remembering every man killed at the Battle of the Somme.
On the same day, an all-night vigil will be held in Wales to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, taking place in Cathays Park, Cardiff . At Bristol Cathedral, the South Quire Aisle of the Cathedral is now home to a display, which includes two touch-screen PCs for viewing the online book of remembrance. The venue is also hosting a World War I exhibition until 31 August, entitled No News of Fred.
The Museum of the History of Science in Oxford is staging a walking tour of Oxford’s contribution to the Great War on 3 July. The tour will highlight the many well-known colleges and public buildings which were converted into hospitals and for military use as well as the experiences of famous historical and literary figures, including Siegfried Sassoon and T E Lawrence.
Then as now, we are entering a period of insecurity and unfamiliarity. The mistakes and tragedy of the First World War are highlighted and remembered a century on in local events across the nation with people coming together to reflect rather than celebrate the Battle of the Somme.