Remembering our heroes: Dorset marks centenary of First World War

ALWAYS REMEMBERED: Veterans gather for the civic service to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War at the Waterfront in Bournemouth

ALWAYS REMEMBERED: Veterans gather for the civic service to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War at the Waterfront in Bournemouth

TRIBUTE: World War One era troop reenactors take part in centenary commemorations at Bovington Tank Museum. Poppies shower down as the centenary memorial ends

First published in News by

HUNDREDS of people attended a special civic ceremony yesterday to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War.

A group of veterans were supported by the Mayor of Bournemouth, Cllr Chris Mayne, Reverend Dr Ian Terry, team rector of Bournemouth, and members of the public as they reflected on the anniversary during the service.

It was held at the Waterfronts Event Arena, by Bournemouth Pier Approach, and the sun shone as hymns were sung, when silence fell following the playing of The Last Post and during a poetry reading by Bournemouth’s Poet Laureate, James Manlow.

Cllr Mayne said: “We gathered to commemorate the start of World War One, 100 years ago to the day, and to remember all those who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War until peace returned in 1918.

“It is our duty to remember and honour all those who died or who were injured during that period.”

Cllr Mayne went on to say that an event had been organised to take place yesterday evening called Lights Out, at the War Memorial in Bournemouth Gardens, from 10pm to 11pm.

Rev Dr Ian Terry said: “We gathered to remember all those from the borough of Bournemouth who fought in the tragic but courageous events in the First World War.

“We remember those who were killed in action or by disease, the bereaved, the lost and the families which were shattered.

“We also remember the wounded, maimed and injured and those who held in silence unspeakable memories of war.”

Emotional scenes

BOVINGTON Tank Museum held a memorial service and battle re-enactments to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the First World War.

Hundreds of people gathered on the banks of the museum to watch the demonstrations and pay their respects to the fallen heroes 100 years after war was declared – and 1.1 million poppy petals were scattered in recognition of the same number of Allied Forces lives that were lost during the conflict.

The Lord Lieutenant for Dorset, Angus Campbell, read out the Ode of Remembrance speech before the last post and the two minutes silence.

Mr Campbell said: “The service was poignant and the poppy release was quite something. I think it’s very important to embark on four years of commemorations, starting today, to recognise what happened”

“We can never, ever forget what people did. They were hugely courageous and we should commemorate that.”

With a voiceover providing a running commentary, crowds were treated to an air display by the seven aircraft from the Great War Air Display team, who gave a demonstration on one of the historic air battles that helped define the war.

Following the air battle, the museum revealed its replica Mark IV tank and gave a demonstration on how the Allied soldiers used the tank in their operations during trench warfare.

The memorial service then started, with the introduction of the Royal British Legion and the Queen’s Lord Lieutenant for Dorset, Angus Campbell. Mr Campbell read out the Ode of Remembrance Speech, which was followed by the Last Post and two minutes silence.

John Ridout, standard bearer for Puddletown, Sam Trott, standard bearer for Beaminster and Norman Pearce, standard bearer for Christchurch, all took part in the service.

Mr Ridout said: “It was a real honour and privilege to be a part of it.”

Comments (1)

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8:36am Tue 5 Aug 14

Gordon Cann says...

The remembering and honouring is the easy part, now that the events of 19i4-1918 are distant memories recalled in the imagination- but what lessons- where is the voice of say Councillor Chris Mayne, Angus Campbell or even the Rev Ian Terry questioning what we do now? -
where we have been disastrously involved in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we strive to be a superpower with a large military presence in Cyprus and billions spent on aircraft carriers- is the world a safer place.

I am old enough to recall the Church bells being rung on on a Sunday early in November 1942, for the first time since 1939 or 194O to celebrate victory of allied forces at El Alamein aturning point of the second world war.old enough to be told by my father how he had been taken prisoner of war in April 1918, and I fully appreciate as far as my imagination permits the terrible agony experienced by all those families caught up in the horrors of the first world war, but beyond that what?

Last night my wife and I visited the house of my grandfather -mentioned in a letter in the Echo yesterday partly to reflect what might have been going through his mind 100 years ago - did he and his family believe the war breaking out would be over by Christmas ?- did it cross his mind that the impending war would be on scale never experienced before; like me
he never experienced at first hand what actually happened , but in between his son , my father, felt the full horror; bravery yes but equally slaughter on a scale never experienced before.
The remembering and honouring is the easy part, now that the events of 19i4-1918 are distant memories recalled in the imagination- but what lessons- where is the voice of say Councillor Chris Mayne, Angus Campbell or even the Rev Ian Terry questioning what we do now? - where we have been disastrously involved in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we strive to be a superpower with a large military presence in Cyprus and billions spent on aircraft carriers- is the world a safer place. I am old enough to recall the Church bells being rung on on a Sunday early in November 1942, for the first time since 1939 or 194O to celebrate victory of allied forces at El Alamein aturning point of the second world war.old enough to be told by my father how he had been taken prisoner of war in April 1918, and I fully appreciate as far as my imagination permits the terrible agony experienced by all those families caught up in the horrors of the first world war, but beyond that what? Last night my wife and I visited the house of my grandfather -mentioned in a letter in the Echo yesterday partly to reflect what might have been going through his mind 100 years ago - did he and his family believe the war breaking out would be over by Christmas ?- did it cross his mind that the impending war would be on scale never experienced before; like me he never experienced at first hand what actually happened , but in between his son , my father, felt the full horror; bravery yes but equally slaughter on a scale never experienced before. Gordon Cann
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