A FULL list of events to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War this summer has been announced.
A five-strong committee of Royal British Legion members has been working for more than 18 months on an itinerary of entertainment, talks and exhibitions to guide the town through the events leading up to the First World War and painting a picture of life during the war.
From Saturday, July 26 the town will become home to a series of poignant and carefully planned events which have brought together a number of people and organisations as part of a national period of commemoration.
To find out more about the events or to take part, call Trilby Shaw on 01335 300359.
THE COMMEMORATION (all starting on Saturday, July 26)
Ashbourne Town Hall Ballroom An exhibition of memorabilia, family and local history, regimental history and audio and visual displays will be open daily from Saturday, July 26, 10.30am-4pm. Brian Stone will give a talk on the “Legacy of WW1” in the Marion Abbott room at 1pm on the opening day.
Century Hall A historical exhibition, recreating a Red Cross Hospital will be open daily.
Ashbourne Heritage Centre in Church Street runs an exhibition daily from 11am until 4pm entitled “Home Front”, examining the place of women in war and how it affected the town.
Ashbourne Leisure Centre host an exhibition of children’s art throughout the commemoration, following its usual opening times.
St Oswald’s Church will be home to a display of art by pupils from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School which will run until mid-September.
The Ex-Servicemen’s Club will hold a “Relative Exhibition” from the end of July until mid September. It will be open every Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10.30am.
EVENTS RUNNING THROUGHOUT THE COMMEMORATION
Sunday, July 27
“Kitchener’s Party” start with a concert at the band stand in Ashbourne Memorial Gardens.
A “boys’ game” of Shrovetide at the Fishpond Meadow will recreate the football match on the Somme. It is being organised by the Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Players’ Committee takes place from 1pm
A cricket match takes place on Ashbourne Recreation Ground with Ashbourne CC taking on Shrovetide Players, followed by cream teas.
Also on the Recreation Ground will be entertainment and amusements from the time, a fancy dress competition for under-10s, suffragettes and a picnic in the park.
Monday, July 28
A quiz night takes place at 7.30pm in Ashbourne Library. Ten tables of three are available at £15 per table, or £5 per head followed by a buffet and interspersed with poetry and readings by Ashbourne Poetry Group.
Tuesday, July 29
Ashbourne Methodist Church hosts an illustrated talk on “army medicine and its progress” by Dr Ian Whitehead from Derby University.
Wednesday, July 30
Vintage costume expert Notty Hornblower and friends hosts a display of “fashions of the time” in Ashbourne Town Hall ballroom, from 7pm.
Thursday, July 31
A talk entitled “The Three Armies”, focusing on the British Contribution, by Dr Alun Thomas from Birmingham Univerity takes place at 7pm in St Oswald’s Church Hall.
Friday, August 1
The Empire Club becomes an “Olde Tyme Music Hall” with entertainment for all ages from 7.30pm. Trilby Shaw is currently on the look-out for local talent. Anyone willing to be an act of any kind is asked to call 01335 300359.
Saturday, August 2
A re-enactment of army recruitment takes place in the town. “Ashbourne Needs You” offers a glimpse into what it was like to see the men join up, from 2pm.
Sunday, August 3
A re-enactment of the declaration of war will be read by MP Patrick McLoughlin from the town hall balcony at 2.15pm. There will then be a procession to St Oswald’s Church where a special service will be held at 3pm.
Monday, August 4
Marking the anniversary of the day of declaration and rounding off the commemoration events, there will be a candlelit vigil, from 9.30pm until 11pm in the Memorial Gardens. Names of 111 fallen soldiers will be read out. This event will be moved to St Oswald’s Church if it is raining.