Free family event will commemorate the First World War
Cheshire East is to host a family day of activities, music and stories to commemorate the First World War.
The free event will be held in the historic grounds of Tatton Park’s Old Hall, Knutsford, on Sunday 26 August.
A Soldier’s Story: Tatton Park Remembers will include a range of hands-on activities to help uncover the past by tracing a local soldier and his individual wartime story using historical artefact handling, family history research, craft, creative writing and storytelling.
Visitors are being encouraged to bring a picnic to the Cheshire East Reflects family concert, which will feature the Staffordshire Military Wives’ Choir, Cheshire’s own Foden’s Band and Sacred Sounds, which tells the story of British India’s involvement in the First World War. There will also be readings and introductions from Archdeacon of Macclesfield Ian Bishop, Mayor of Cheshire East Councillor Lesley Smetham and Cheshire East Council leader Rachel Bailey.
Cllr Bailey said: “This will be a fantastic and also poignant day of events with lots of hands-on activities for families, gripping stories and inspirational music. We are really proud to be one of the few types of council in Britain to have organised a regular programme of commemorative events throughout the four-year period, to remember those who gave their lives.
“The work that has been done – along with events planned to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War in November – will help ensure that the stories and artefacts, which tell the story of the First World War in Cheshire East, are preserved for future generations.”
The commemorative event runs from 11am to 4pm, with the concert starting at 1pm. It is free but normal Tatton Park entry charges apply.
A Soldier’s Story is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and programmed by Tatton Park, which is run by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust.
The event is part of the council’s ‘Cheshire East Reflects’ four-year programme of remembrance of the sacrifice by the people of Cheshire East during the First World War.
This programme has seen participation from residents, community groups and arts organisations, as well as partners including the Imperial War Museum North. More than 25,000 people have attended events, participated in the Cheshire East Reflects programme or received a free schools workshop.
The final commemoration events, called ‘When the Light Goes Out’, will take place during Armistice weekend in November and will also be free to attend.
The first will be held in Crewe town centre on Saturday 10 November and will focus on the survivors of the war, which began in August 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918.
The second event will take place on Sunday 11 November, at Tatton Park, and will be based on the theme of ‘the fallen’. During a formal ceremony to mark the end of the First World War, a commemorative flame, which has been burning at Tatton Park since 2014, will be extinguished.
Cllr Bailey added: “Cheshire East Reflects has been a thought-provoking programme that has paid poignant tribute to the tremendous courage and sacrifice of Cheshire’s soldiers.
“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the programme of activities so far and encourage people to attend these events as the centenary commemorations draw to a close.”
For more information, or to find out how you can take part, visit: www.cheshireeastreflects.com