Tag Archives: WW1


Poppy Day Legacy

Poppies and memorialArmistice 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.

Football Ban

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.


Published Date: 8th November 2016
Category: Blog, Events, News
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Battle of the Somme Remembered

Battle of the SommeThis 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.

Lost Generation

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.

WWI Events

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.


Published Date: 28th June 2016
Category: Blog, Events, News
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