There is a vey interesting pair of Great War Remembrance events coming to Aldridge in a couple of weeks for people who wish to pay respects, those who had family involvement or perhaps historical interest in the Battle of the Somme.
The centenary of this dreadful human conflagration occurs on Friday, 1st July 2016, and Aldridge Great War project who have done so much work to reveal and record the hitherto hidden history of the Manor will be marking this fateful anniversary with two events in the village.
As usual, devoted supporter of the Project and Aldridge resident Linda Mason has written a wonderful blog post about this which I reproduce below, as she’s put things superbly well, as she always does.
Meanwhile, the book written by the Aldridge Great War Project ‘A Patriotic Endeavour: Aldridge Manor House as a Military Hospital 1915 – 1919’ has been a huge success and is a fascinating and engaging history that has been selling very well – you can get a copy here.
Aldridge Remembers the Great War – A Whistle Blow
I have written many times about the wonderful work that The Aldridge Great War Project has and continues to do, to commemorate the contributions made by the people of Aldridge, men and women, to the First World War 1914 -1918. Sue Satterthwaite has managed the project and the volunteers with amazing results.
I have also written about my own personal journey in researching my own family members who were involved in the war. For me, remembering World War I is deeply personal but then it is for so very many people as there is scarcely a family in the land, who do not have a connection to someone who fought and perhaps died in that war.
On 1st July 2016 it will be 100 years to the day that the Battle of the Somme began. A devastating battle that raged for 141 days claiming the lives of 420,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers, 200,000 French soldiers and 500,000 Germans.
Aldridge will remember the anniversary of the commencement of battle in two ways.
Firstly at 7.15 am on Friday 1st July at The Aldridge War Memorial, there will be an act of remembrance followed by the blowing of trench whistles at 7.30am, the time the battle started and then two minutes silence. I sincerely hope that Aldridge will turn out at this early hour for this.
A little later in the morning at Aldridge Library at 10.30 am, there will be a talk and powerpoint presentation from The Aldridge Great War Project featuring ‘Voices from the Past’ read by pupils of Aldridge School. The presentation will use words, archive film, images and music to remember those who died, those who survived, the effect on the military convalescent hospital at the Manor House and the day the whole village came together to watch Geoffrey Malins’ film of the battle. Original items will be on display. The event is free but booking is essential either by calling 01922 655569 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Refreshments will be provided.
Again I sincerely hope that this event will be fully booked. I am only sorry that I cannot make either event due to prior commitments.