Commemorations for Great War a ‘time to reflect’

MASSACRE Troops at the Somme during the First World War
MASSACRE Troops at the Somme during the First World War
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IT is one of the most important commemorations in modern times.

And it will not go unrecognised as Hampshire County Council is dipping into its coffers to help community organisations mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

From dramatisations focusing on the unsung heroes of the Great War, to solid stone memorials for loved ones lost in battle, more than £26,000 in funding has been agreed to make sure they go ahead.

Councillor Keith Chapman, who is in charge of culture, recreation and countryside at the council, said it is an opportunity to reflect on life not just on the battlefield but back at home too.

‘It was the war to end all wars,’ said Cllr Chapman.

‘But there is a danger as we get older that the memory fades. It is very important to remember the sacrifices made at that time.

‘It’s important to look at all aspects. To remember the poetry in the trenches, the way loved ones coped at home, even the horses that died.

‘It is an opportunity to reflect on all aspects of the First World War.’

The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, in East Street, Havant, has been granted £2,000 towards events that will take place throughout the year and will engage more than 3,000 people from across the community.

Sophie Fullerlove is the director of The Spring. She said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled.

‘We believe it’s really important that the First World War is commemorated and recognised.

‘There will be a number of live performances. One is about Edith Cavell, the nurse who helped lots of people escape from Belgium and was shot. There will be one about suffragettes.

‘The whole community will be able to take part in workshops to help create a textile book of remembrance.

‘There will be a flashmob war memorial photography exhibition where lots of people will gather around the memorial and take photos at the same time, at different angles.

‘Educational packs for young people will be put together and there will also be heritage talks.’

In Clanfield, the parish institute has been awarded £1,000 towards a memorial which will stand outside the memorial hall in South Lane.

Brian Ahern, the chairman of the institute, said: ‘It’s great to be able to go ahead with this.

‘A lot of people will be getting involved – including the young people from Horndean Technology College.’