WWI Centenary

WWI Centenary

This month saw the Centenary of the start of WWI, and I became involved with a commemoration project created by two local men; Paul Young, an illustrator, and member of Prestatyn Living History Society – and Jerry Bone, local WWI historian and collector, who I met when I started researching for Flintshire War Memorials.

A group of us spent twelve days transforming an empty shop – building a trench and dugout area, then setting up the rest of the shop as a museum, filled with some of the vast collection of WWI memorabilia that Jerry has amassed over the last twenty five years.

Over the course of three days, more than one thousand people came to view the exhibition, and we raised £1105.89 for the local War Memorial Restoration Fund. There was great feedback from everyone who came, and it was a brilliant weekend – we got to hear lots of wonderful stories that people shared with us, of family members who went to war, and I helped with research for people who didn’t have a lot of information.

We ended the weekend with Lights Out. Everyone who had been involved with the project sat in the dugout with just one flickering candle, it was a sombre moment of reflection, and a sense of pride and satisfaction at what had been achieved.

I would like to thank the people and organisations that provided educational resources for us to use and distribute to people that visited the exhibition:

  • Thomas Walker at Historic Newspapers sent some wonderful booklets, packed with interesting and informative newspaper articles from the time of WWI – he also has many great resources available for download on his website.
  • SGM Lifewords sent one hundred of their replica WWI bibles – these are copies of the bibles that every soldier was given when being sent to the front line. They are beautiful and poignant little things and my son enjoyed handing these out and explaining all about them.
  • We also received leaflets from CWGC and the War Memorials Trust.

You can view a wonderful collection of photographs from the event, by local photographer Chris Porteous, and we also have a WWI Trench Exhibition Facebook Page.

A couple of weeks later, we took part in the BBC WWI At Home event, held in Rhyl Events Arena. It was a really busy day, with lots of interesting things to see and do, and topped off with a great airshow display.

Beautiful blooms

Whilst out wandering today, we picked this lovely lilac, which smells gorgeous. Lilac reminds me of summer as a child, wearing my favourite dress (coincidentally, lilac coloured), climbing the large lilac tree we had in our front garden. It reminds me that summer is well and truly on the way, it makes me very happy indeed!

What a fabulous day!

Today was a very special day, and it didn’t fail to live up to expectations..
Even if it started at 4.30am – it just meant we could pack more into one day!
(Almost) everything that was wanted was received, the smiles on small faces will remain with me forever.

A special, precious, fabulous day.

We spent the afternoon at our local castle, watching ‘The Vikings’ battle.
You can find out more about the group >Here<

“Rhuddlan Heritage Society with the support of CADW are staging a celebration of the events that took place in the year 1075 AD. The conflict between the Norman Lord Robert of Rhuddlan (a veteran of the Battle of Hastings) and the Welsh Prince, Gryffydd ap Cynan. Over the Bank Holiday weekend (Sunday & Monday) you will be able visit both the Anglo-Norman and Welsh/Viking encampments. The Battle finale, on both days, will see the Anglo-Norman army take up defence on the original battlefield site at Twt Hill Motte & Bailey. Prince Gruffydd will then march his Welsh/Viking army out of the Edwardian Castle to give battle.”

We wandered around the castle, marvelling at the sites, wowing at the walls, staring through the windows/arrow slits at the beautiful scenery beyond..

We live in such a beautiful place, with mountains, and beaches, and fabulous scenery, we’re so lucky. We may not appreciate it enough, we really should..

I am proud, honoured, grateful, happy, fulfilled, content.

And really tired 😀

And I wish I hadn’t bought MouseTrap. Setting it up sucks.