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Staffordshire remembers the First World War centenary - round-up of events

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: August 01, 2014

Staffordshire remembers the First World War centenary

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A SPECIAL service and wreath-laying ceremony is taking place in Stafford on Saturday to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of war in 1914.

Wreaths will be laid at the War Memorial in Victoria Square at 10am, followed by the laying of poppy crosses at the remains of St Bertelin's chapel, and a service of commemoration at St Mary's Church at 10.30am, which will be attended by civic and community leaders from throughout the area.

Organisers are aiming to include the relatives of the men from the area killed in 1914 in the ceremonies.

Stone Historical and Civic Society, with Stone British Legion and the Town Council is commemorating the start of the First World War with a drum-head service in Stonefield Park at 3pm on Sunday.

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During the service the names of all of the 148 men from the area who lost their lives will be read out. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Following the service, there will be an exhibition in St. Dominic's Social Centre on Station Road, featuring items from the First World war associated with Stone. The historical society will also be selling its new book - Stone's Contribution to the Great War, 1914 - 1916.

Cannock Chase Council will be launching the district's First World War centenary commemorations with Great War marches in Cannock, Hednesford and Rugeley town centres on Saturday.

Cadets, ex-servicemen and other groups will march through the town centres, led by members of the Staffordshire Regimental Association. A memorial service will take place in each town centre to remember fallen heroes and commemorate the centenary of the start of the Great War. Music will be provided by Rugeley Power Station Brass Band and Lichfield Air Cadets Band.

The events take place in Cannock town centre 10.30am-11.30am, in Hednesford town centre 1.30pm-2.30pm and in Rugeley town centre 3.30pm-4.30pm.

The day will end with a special Centenary Concert at the Prince of Wales Centre in Church Street, Cannock, at 7pm with music from the West Midlands Fire Brigade Band.

Penkridge's Heritage Centre at The Old Gaol, Bellbrook, is open to the public for Penkridge Civic Society's annual exhibition each Saturday until the end of September 10 am-1 pm, plus Wednesdays during school holidays 10 am-1 pm. This year's exhibition is to mark the Centenary of the First World War.

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum, near Lichfield, is holding an Edwardian extravaganza on Sunday August 3 to commemorate the outbreak of war.

There will be live music and drama, period fairground rides and stalls, and themed entertainment.

Author Jeff Elson will also be launching his latest book on the history of the regiment in the First World War.

The museum is holding a WWI weekend on September 20 and 21 commemorating the role of the South and North Staffordshire Regiment Battalions during the first Battle of Ypres.

Uniformed re-enactors will recreate the experience of trench life in the museum's 500ft trench system.

Also re-created are the activities that were going on behind the trenches, including dressing stations and mess tents.

Visitors can try on uniforms and handle weapons and equipment.

The museum is also organising trench tours on October 27, a night in the trenches on November 8, and carols in the trenches on December 13.

Details of all events are available at: www.staffordshireregimentmuseum.com

A Centenary Charity Ball will be held at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Saturday August 30 to commemorate the First World War and raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Museum.

Guests will be treated to a military sunset ceremony with buglers and an RAF Cosford honour guard, followed by a helicopter flying display.

For details email cosfordgalaball@rafmuseum.org or contact the event organiser on 01902 376200.

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