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Remember the outbreak of the First World War: events in south Warwickshire

Vince Watson, chairman of the Leamington branch of the Royal British Legion, prepares for the exhibition with branch secretary Pat Edgington and vice chairman Stan Sabin.

Vince Watson, chairman of the Leamington branch of the Royal British Legion, prepares for the exhibition with branch secretary Pat Edgington and vice chairman Stan Sabin.

Poppies will fill a ‘field’ at the Royal Priors shopping centre in Leamington next week to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

The town’s branch of the Royal British Legion has put together the commemorative exhibition, which will be open every day from Sunday (August 3) until Saturday August 9 from 10am to 4pm, during which time people can buy a poppy and lay it in the ‘field’at the bottom of the e scalator.

On the first and last days of the exhibition at noon, a ‘time of reflection’ will take place, with The Last Post being sounded, followed by war songs performed by the Spa Strummers ukelele group.

Whitnash councillor Adrian Barton, who is involved in organising the event and a commemoration concert at the Spa Centre in October, said: “The war started 100 years ago on August 4. The idea is for people to come along to recognise what devastating effects the war had on the world. Ever so much has been given.

“People might want to lay a poppy for their grandfathers, great-grandfathers and uncles who were killed or maimed.”

The event is one of many happening across south Warwickshire to mark the centenary.

Hill Close Gardens in Warwick is displaying a collection of photographs and other historical documents detailing what was happening in Warwick and surrounding areas 100 years ago, along with old tools and machinery from the time, on August 9 and 10 from 11am to 5pm each day.

On Sunday (August 3) at 3pm, villagers in Birdingbury are re-dedicating their war memorial, which has been in the village since 1921. It was recently restored thanks to grants from the Warwickshire County Councillors’ Fund, the War Memorials Trust and Birdinbury parish council. The event will include period music by Bourton Trombones and an exhibition about those named on the memorial by Birdingbury History Group at the Birbury.

St Mark’s church in Rugby Road, Leamington, is opening up on Monday (August 4) from 2pm to 7pm for people to say private prayers in remembrance. There will also be a display about those from Milverton who died in the First World War.

Warwickshire County Council’s Heritage and Culture team have, together with volunteers at the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum at St John’s in Warwick, created an exhibition, Warwickshire at War, which will launch at St John’s on August 9, with First World War re-enactors, a museum trail and activities. The exhibition, which will be on display for four years, includes archive material gathered by volunteers over the past nine months.

The commemorative concert at the Spa Centre takes place on October 31. See warwickdistrictremembers.com

 

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