BOURNEMOUTH’S last Children’s Festival before the outbreak of the First World War will be re-staged as part of the council’s plans to commemorate the war’s 100th anniversary.

A community exhibition, civic ceremony at the War Memorial and a themed show garden will also rank amongst the highlights of the centenary celebrations.

With the guiding themes of learning and understanding, respect and friendship and lest we forget, the programme of events aims to engage schools, young people and local communities.

Cabinet Member for Leisure, Tourism and Culture, Cllr Lawrence Williams said: “The First World War Centenary Planning and Delivery Group is currently creating a programme of activity which will mark the centenary.

“It will explore and tell Bournemouth’s stories and the experiences of those who lives, fought and died in the War, set against a backdrop of major events.”

The main programme of events will begin in the summer, including a historically accurate revival of the last Children’s Festival before the start of the war.

Bournemouth council is also investigating the possibility of costumed tours of the Town Hall and a former WWI military hospital.

People who know of someone who fought and died in WWI are also being encouraged to contact the council to help ensure their Book of Remembrance has the most complete record possible.

The book lists residents living within the boundaries of the Borough of Bournemouth prior to or during the War, who lost their lives while fighting for their country.

Cllr David Kelsey, pictured, Chair of the First World War centenary planning and delivery group, said: “The First World War is an incredibly important part of our history.

“It is vital that future generations don't forget what happened and remember those who lived, fought and died in the War.”

RED meadow poppies should be planted across Poole to commemorate the centenary of the First World War in 2014, it has been decided.
Councillors unanimously approved a motion signed by 16 members of all three parties, calling on the council to buy poppy seed and distribute it on roundabouts, verges, parks, churches and schools.
The motion suggests it could be done in collaboration with schools, charities, residents groups, churches and individuals.
“It would make an excellent central focus for Poole’s centennial commemorations whilst bringing colour and pleasure to many, and a chance for a more continuous reflection of this momentous day,” said the motion.
“If we could plant in at least 100 places we would commemorate every year since the start of WWI, giving residents and visitors the chance to remember and be grateful for all who then and since have made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our way of life.”