A PLAY based on the lives of two men killed during the First World War will tour Wimborne after an initial performance in the chapel where one of the young soldiers was married.

As reported in the Daily Echo, The Gathering - Messages from the Great War uses letters and photographs to tell the stories of Will Cutler and Hubert Wareham, and two people closely involved in their lives - Will's wife Tillie, and the former vicar of Wimborne Minster, Reverend James Fletcher.

The first performance took place at the altar of Holtwood Methodist Church, where Will and Tillie got married in 1913. A sell-out crowd attended the event.

Among the audience members were descendants of both soldiers, who said: "It brought our ancestors to life, turning dates, names and places into reality, and told stories unknown to most people."

Will and Tillie's granddaughter Liz Frampton, who resides in the village where her grandparents also once lived, said the performance gave her a "tiny glimpse" into the past.

Alan Wareham, Hubert's great nephew, said: "The play recognises and honours the great sacrifice that he and others made”.

Hubert's great grand-nephew Andrew Wareham also performed the trumpet during the play.

Hubert was killed on the first day of Passchendaele at the age of just 19. His parents, Charles and Annie Wareham of Eastbrook - now Park Lane - learned of their son's death more than two weeks later, on August 18 1917.

A picture of him as a child hangs at the Priest's House Museum. In the photo, Hubert is decorated with medals honouring his school attendance.

The play, which was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been commissioned by the Priest's House Museum as part of project 'The one hundred year heritage of the First World War for Wimborne and East Dorset'.

Volunteers have undertaken research into how people in East Dorset were affected by the conflict. The play was written and performed by State of Play Arts.

The next performance will take place at the Minster church on Friday, June 8. Audience numbers will be limited and early booking is advised.

For more information, or to book, contact the Wimborne Tourist Information Centre on 01202 886116. The play is suitable for children aged 12 and over.

A third performance is planned for Saturday, November 10.