Remembrance in Warwick district: how our towns and villages will be paying respect

The Poppy soldier at St Mary's church in Warwick
The Poppy soldier at St Mary's church in Warwick

This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and events will be taking place across our district to mark this special occasion. Here is a round-up of events in our towns and villages.

Leamington is playing its part in an international commemoration marking 100 years since the guns fell silent at the end the First World War.

Poppy display at St Mary's church in Warwick.

Poppy display at St Mary's church in Warwick.

On November 11, there will be a town centre Remembrance Service at 10.50am at Euston Place war memorial in Leamington.

Later in the day, Leamington will join many villages, towns and cities across the UK and abroad with a ‘Battle’s Over’ ceremony.

It starts with a service at 6pm next to the war memorial in Euston Place, organised by Leamington Town Council, Royal British Legion (Leamington branch) and Whitnash Town Council.

At 6.55pm buglers will sound the Last Post at more than 1,000 locations, where at 7pm beacons will be lit in a tribute signifying the light of peace that emerged from the darkness of four years of war.

Poppy sheep at St Mary's church in Warwick.

Poppy sheep at St Mary's church in Warwick.

Mayor Cllr Heather Calver will ignite the beacon on Newbold Comyn Hill (a free coach courtesy of Johnsons Coaches is available).
This will be followed by a firework display to celebrate this occasion.

Admission to the Newbold Comyn site is free.

Cllr Calver said: “I am delighted that the town council is supporting this significant anniversary which will allow us all to reflect on the momentous impact of the First World War and the huge loss of life that it entailed.

"The people of Leamington will have an opportunity to come together to both acknowledge this sacrifice and celebrate the peace that ultimately ensued.”

* Leamington will hold a white poppy ceremony on Armistice afternoon, with the co-operation of Leamington Town Council and the Royal British Legion.

This year Coventry’s peace poet Anthony Owen will be reading a poem about the First World War on November 11 at the War Memorial in Euston Place at 2.15 for a 2.30 start.

The White Poppy commemorates the many innocent civilians, including women and children that have lost their lives in conflicts around the world, as well as remembering soldiers on all sides, from the First World War to today.

If you are interested in wearing a white poppy, with or without a red poppy alongside, you can buy one at Gaia, 7 Regent Place Leamington.

* A special concert to remember the First World War Armistice will be held tomorrow (Saturday November 10).

The event will take place at the Spa Centre, Leamington, starting at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £15.

Email warwickdistrictremembers@gmail.com

Alternatively, visit their Facebook page by searching for ‘Warwick District Remembers 2018 - WW1 The Armistice 100 Years On’ on Facebook.

* A Centenary Remembrance Service remembering the actions of the Warwickshire Royal Horse Artillery Territorial Force will be held on Saturday November 10 at Midland Oak Park, 10.30am.

It has been arranged by Friends of Midland Oak Park and supported by Warwick District Council.

* A concert and Drumhead Service featuring the Cubbington Silverband and Melody Belles will take place at St Margaret’s Church in Whitnash on November 11 (there will also be a service at 10am).

Doors open at 7pm with the concert starting at 7.30pm.

For tickets and further information contact David Clough on 01926 739555 or email admin@whitnashcharitabletrust.org.uk

* The handiwork of local schoolchildren is on display as part of the Royal Priors Shopping Centre’s commemorative poppy exhibition.

The project is in collaboration with Clapham Terrace Primary School, who have created a commemorative poppy display at the centre.

The poppy display will be in the centre for the whole of November.

Sarah Jones, Royal Priors Shopping Centre manager, added: “Everyone at the centre is so excited to see these impressive creations assembled in the centre for the community to enjoy. It will be a wonderful acknowledgement and fitting tribute to our fallen heroes.

“This has been such a positive partnership, in not only helping to bring such an important part of our history alive but also in working together as a community to deliver such a poignant tribute.”

In Southam there will be events over the weekend.

* On November 10 there will be a military band style concert in Grange Hall, Coventry Road by Dunchurch Band at 7.30 pm

* On November 11, there will be a Remembrance Sunday Parade and Service in St James Church at 10.30 am.

And later in the day, the lighting of a beacon and ringing of church bells will take place at 7 pm on the Recreation Ground in Park Lane.

The Warwick branch of the Royal British Legion, along with the town council, will have a number of events and ceremonies taking place to mark Armistice Day.

At 6am there will be a sunrise ceremony with a lone piper playing at the war memorial in Church Street. The piece of music that will be performed was played 100 years ago, as the Armistice was signed.

It will be replicated at locations throughout the UK at 6am. Immediately afterwards the piper will play among the thousands of poppies in St Mary’s Church.

At 10am there will be a remembrance service at St Mary’s Church, followed by a small service of Remembrance at the Warwick war memorial. This will then be followed by a two-minute silence at 11am, wreath laying and a march past of local units and organisations.

Some roads will be closed for the remembrance services. From 8am until 1.30pm Northgate Street, Church Street, Old Square and New Street will be closed.

Between 10.30am and 11.30am a stop-and-hold traffic will be in operation on Jury Street at the junction of Castle Hill and The Butts, High Street at the junction of Bowling Green Street, Swan Street, Market Place and Brook Street.

During the evening Warwick Castle will be holding a free short service and beacon lighting at about 6.45pm (as part of the national beacon lighting). Gates open at 6.30pm. There is free parking at the Stratford Road car park.

* A special event will be held in the evening at St Mary’s Church.

‘We Will Remember - Duruflé Requiem and Readings’ will take place on November 11 at 6.30pm and is part of the Warwick Poppies community tribute.

Musicians from Warwick will combine forces to form the Warwick Poppies Chorus and Foundation Poppies Ensemble in this collaborative presentation of Duruflé’s masterpiece, under the baton of Alex Laing.

TV and film star, Michael Maloney, will join musicians from Warwick in the collaborative presentation.

Maloney’s work covers roles with the RSC, films including Truly Madly Deeply, Branagh’s Henry V and Zeffirelli’s Hamlet and TV series Paranoid, The White Queen and Mr Selfridge.


Seating is unreserved and tickets are free but must be acquired in advance by going to: www.bridgehousetheatre.co.uk; by calling 01926 776438; or from the shop at St Mary’s Church.

The event is sponsored by Warwick Town Council, the St Mary’s Hall Trust and the King Henry VIII Endowed Trust.

* The ‘Emscote in World War One’ display will be set up inside All Saints’ Church, in Vicarage Field, Emscote, Warwick, on Saturday November 10 from 10am to 12.30pm.

It has been put together by the Emscote Local History Group.

All are welcome and there will be refreshments available on the day.

* The Warwick Poppies 2018 project – featuring 62,438 handmade poppies – is still open in St Mary’s Church in Warwick until December 9. Open daily with free entry.

All donations will be shared between the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and St Mary’s Church.

Check www.warwickpoppies.org.uk for opening times.

Kenilworth will mark 100 years since the end of the First World War with some slight changes to allow more people to see and hear the event.

The service will be held at the war memorial at the top of Abbey Fields at 10.45 on Sunday November 11, with two minutes’ silence being observed at 11am.

Parades will head to the memorial from the Copper House Club in Albion Street and from Talisman square at 10.15am.

Ahead of and during the service, road closures will be in place on Park Hill, Albion Street, Abbey Hill, Southbank Road, Station Road and Forrest Road.

Speaking at a town council meeting on Thursday October 25, Cllr George Illingworth said: “We have one or two changes. We were concerned about the number of people last year, particularly the disabled, who couldn’t hear or see.

“What we have planned to do this year is to get the clergy to operate from the memorial. Where the town clerk normally stands in order to read out the names of wreath-layers, the clergy will operate from that
position.

“It will give a bit of elevation and enable people to see what’s going on.”

The changes mean people attending will be encouraged to watch from Abbey Fields rather than the road.

As previously reported in the KWN, six new names have been added to the war memorial ahead of the service thanks to research by Kenilworth historian Susan Tall.

Thomas William Dilworth, Timothy Laurence Foley, William Jonathan Hancox, William Hubbard, Frank Bernard Thake and John William Woodfield’s names were officially dedicated in a small ceremony on Saturday November 3.

Many of their relatives were in attendance.

Harbury is hosting the following events over the Armistice weekend.

* A huge amount of poppies have been suspended from the tower at All Saints’ Church (pictured right), knitted by Sue Hartland and a large number of local ladies over the last six months, plus a batch that were donated by Warwick WI, and there will be further smaller displays in the church in the coming week.

* The 1st Harbury Scout Group has been given 10 transparent silhouette figures, by the Youth United Trust and they will form part of the 1918 Remembrance, remembering those who were lost, in the community they left behind.

The silhouette installation will be on display in Harbury Parish Church until November 18 and at several other venues around the village during the Remembrance events.

* “Lest we Forget” a Festival of Remembrance on Friday November 9, 7pm (doors open and WI Teas from 6pm) in Harbury Village Hall. Tickets £5 (all proceeds to the royal British Legion Poppy Fund). Tickets available from chemist, library and post office.

* Harbury and Chesterton Bonfire Beacon on Sunday November 11 at Chesterton Windmill 6-8pm. Throughout the country, 1,000 Beacons of Light will be lit at 7pm on Sunday November 11 to represent the end of World War One.

Harbury Explorer Scouts, with the support of Harbury Parish Council, will be building a beacon on Chesterton Hill to form part of this celebration and all local residents and friends are welcome.

No parking at the site

Free bus transport to and from Harbury Village (Binswood End, Gamecock Inn and Old New Inn) from 6pm – returning again until 8pm.

* Harbury villagers spent two years researching the stories behind the names on the village’s war memorial. Blue plaques have been erected around the village, on houses or at locations where the men lived, and five new streets have been named after the men.

The Harbury World War I Memorial Trail map (downloadable from the village website http://www.harbury-pc.gov.uk/worldwar1.htm) allows you to visit all 19 plaques and remember the young men whilst reading their stories on the website.

St George’s Church in Newbold Pacey is staging a moving exhibition this weekend (November 10-11) , revealing the stories of more than 80 local people who served in the First World War.

Historian Michael Dane from Wellesbourne has compiled individual exhibitions about everyone from this area who was killed in the hostilities, as well as details of all who fought.

Following a display he put on in 2014, to commemorate the start of the Great War, Mr Dane has done further research and has added numerous other combatants who were connected with this area.

He also applied successfully for St George’s to receive some of the haunting, life-size Perspex silhouettes of soldiers from that period, as part of a national installation ‘There But Not There’.

The exhibition at St George’s will run from 11am to 4pm on Saturday and from 12.30 to 4pm on Sunday November 11.

During the church ’s Armistice Centenary Service at 10.30 on Sunday November 11, Sir Andrew Hamilton, whose grandfather Captain Robert Hamilton helped to instigate the 1914 Christmas Truce between the Allies and the Germans, will speak on the Christian links to the Great War and its aftermath.

The parish of Leek Wootton and Guy’s Cliffe will be commemorating the centenary of the end of World War I with a series of events.

There is currently a ‘contemplation exhibition’ in All Saints’ Church, on show from 9am to 6pm.

On Sunday, November 11 there will be a Remembrance Service at All Saints’ Church in the morning (9.30am) followed by an Act of Remembrance at the Leek Wootton War Memorial Recreation Ground stone (10.50am), with two minutes silence at 11am.

In the evening there is to be a special Battle’s Over Commemoration Service at All Saints’ Church (5pm), which will include World War I poetry, songs and sketches, after which all are invited to witness a beacon lighting at The Warwickshire Golf and Country Club (6:50pm) as part of the Battle’s Over National Tribute.

A beacon of light will be illuminated in Burton Green as part of the village’s remembrance service 100 years on from the end of the First World War.

The village, along with many others around the country, will be taking part in the Royal Air Force’s ‘Beacons of Light’ project, which will see 1,000 beacons around the country lit at 7pm on Sunday November 11.

The beacon is located near the junction of Red Lane and Cromwell Lane, and the ceremony will begin at 6.55pm with the Last Post being played.

On the day, the Jubilee Verge will feature two silhouettes of soldiers from the First World War, and a cascade of poppies will flow down the fence.

And residents will be able to write names on crosses before placing them on the verge.

The crosses can be bought from the British Legion.

Afternoon tea will be served in the village hall from 3 to 5pm.

Norton Lindsey has put on a “Remembering with Poppies” display around the village.

Villagers and community members from schoolchildren to those in their nineties have come together since April to knit, crochet, craft and sew over 1,400 poppies.

These now are in the church and at central points in the village such as the two finger post road signs which celebrate the Diamond Jubilees of Queen Victoria and of our current Queen.

The display particularly commemorates the lives of the six villagers who died in the conflict and there are also “blue plaques” marking the homes in the village to which the soldiers did not return.

Tysoe WI is holding a Festival of Remembrance until November 19 in St Mary’s Church, with a coffee morning on November 10, 11am-3pm. Free refreshments. Come and see the church filled with poppies.

St. Gregory’s Church in Offchurch currently has a display about people from the village who gave their lives during the First World War.

It will run until Sunday November 18 and features poppy displays, music and information.

People can also take away the booklet ‘Offchurch Remembers’ containing information on each of the ten men named on the war memorial.