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LONDON

On the 4 September there will be a collaborative event with Poetryslabs and Friends of West Norwood Cemetery who are creating a hydrophobic wax poetry trail to mark the Somme Centenary. Poems will be placed on the ground around the town and outside the cemetery (to be revealed by water) and coincide with a walking tour of the War Graves within Norwood Cemetery. Chelsea Supporters Club and Sutton Utd FC are both holding commemorative events to remember those buried in their local CWGC sites throughout November.

SOUTH EAST

Throughout July and August young people undertaking their National Citizen Service with the Challenge will be taking part in Living Memory, visiting local war graves and planning a series of social action projects to raise awareness of local war graves in Reading and High Wycombe and getting more young people interested in their local First World War heritage. Young people undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh Award across some parts of the country are also planning expeditions to take in visits to local war graves across the 141 days of the Somme.

SOUTH WEST

Hikmat CIC in Exeter are looking at the various nationalities that are remembered in war graves across the South West from Australians in Exeter to Chinese in Plymouth. Newquay Zoo are looking at the role of animals in the First World War and staff from the zoo will be visiting their local war graves in the Autumn. Royal Victoria Country Park in Southampton are working with a number of local schools and colleges to research all the Somme casualties buried in Netley Cemetery to be presented at a final event on the 18 November.

MIDLANDS

Friends of Gainsborough Cemeteries and Chapel held a commemorative event on the 1 July to mark the newly restored CWGC grave of Lance Corporal Freebury in the Gainsborough Cemetery. The public ceremony involved local school children, elected representatives, RBL members and others, and featured readings, a minutes silence and the Last Post. Research on all buried in the site has led to the publication of a booklet and creation of an exhibition being produced to be shared throughout the 141 days of the Somme centenary.            

NORTH EAST

The After-School Club at Washington School has spent the whole school 2015/16 year studying WW1 through all subjects of the curriculum. They undertook a study visit to Thiepval earlier in June and will now make visits to Jesmond and St Andrews cemeteries in Newcastle where they will research those buried there, do headstone rubbings, read WW1 poems and take photographs. They will compare and contrast these visits to Thiepval and discuss their feelings about the visits. Their year’s work will be on display in the school as well on the school website and they are compiling a school WW1 Roll of Honour. The project culminated in the weekend of 19 September.

NORTH WEST

The 1st / 14th Warrington West Scouts will join forces with another troupe as well as the Blue Apple Veterans in Warrington, to research the sons and families from WW1 - one each from England, Wales & Ireland - buried at Warrington Cemetery. The stories of these three men will be shared through a grave hunt and an activity day in August at the cemetery involving tidying the cemetery, grave rubbings, photographs and the Last Post. This event will be followed by a 'show and tell' coffee evening with informal presentations and a small exhibition.

WALES

In July members of Menai Bridge Brass Band and Lewis-Methyr Band will be playing the Last Post at the graves of two known Somme casualties in Wales as part of the Welsh Proms. Lewis-Methyr Band performed for Lewington George Davis, who died aged 17 as a result of his injuries from the Somme and is buried in Cardiff Cathays Cemetery. Menai Bridge Brass Band remembered John Parry who died aged 27 as a result of injuries at the Somme and is buried in Llanwenllwyfo St Gwenllwyfo Churchyard, Anglesey.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Families who use the Westville Family Resource Centre (in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh) are planting several flower boxes as well as a cherry tree outside their premises. The cherry tree is in memory of Captain Collingwood Ingram whose war diaries included many sketches of trees, birds and people and who raised the Prunus ‘Kursar’ (cherry tree) plant. WFRC are working with local Polish, Latvian & Lithuanian families who use the centre to explore how WW1 soldiers are commemorated locally and in their own countries, and discuss their own family / community WW1 history. Once cultivated, the group will lay the flowers they have grown at their local CWGC site.

SCOTLAND

Glentanar Court Social Group are planning trips for tenants to local cemeteries throughout Paisley and the surrounding area. They will also be researching those from the local area who died in the Somme. Following their visit they will create a memory tree and plan to hold a remembrance event in November where they will read the names of those they have discovered buried locally. They will also plant a bed of forget me nots in their garden as a permanent living memory of those from their community who served.