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SEATON: Village to commemorate World War I centenary

Friday, 24 January 2014

Plans for events in Beer to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War are progressing well.
A grant from Seaton Phoenix will enable commemorative mugs to be given to children from the village who attend the primary school and playgroup, while an art competition is being organised for students at local schools.
More details of these developments will be available shortly.
The main events will take place between August 1st and 4th.
From Friday 1st to Monday, August 4th, an exhibition will be held in the Congregational Hall, featuring research into men from Beer who served in all the armed forces during World War I, and those who served as merchant seamen.
These include men who served in France, Belgium, Italy, East Africa, Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), the Mediterranean, the Dardanelles, the South Atlantic, the North Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Photos and a diary which have been lent to the project have added extra detail to the research.
Two historians from the Imperial War Museum will give lectures in the Mariners Hall on Saturday, August 2nd.
Peter Hart, author of many books on World War I, is the museum’s oral historian, and will give a presentation on the Battle of Jutland, in which four men from Beer were killed.
Alan Wakefield is a curator in the museum’s photographic collection, and will lecture on the Zeebrugge Raid in 1918, after which a submariner from Beer (who survived the war) was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.
Sunday, August 3rd will see a re-enactment of events which occurred in Beer exactly 100 years before, when the Royal Naval Reservists from the village were called up and marched along the main street, led by the village band.
This time, the Ottery St Mary Silver Band will lead the way, and members of the original families will take part, representing their family members who marched away in 1914. This occasion will be used to represent the departure of all those from Beer who served during the war.
After the parade, the Ottery St Mary band will stage a concert in the open air, or in the Mariners Hall if the weather is poor.
A meeting to discuss detailed plans for the events will be held in the Congregational Hall, Beer at 7pm on Wednesday, February 5th.
Anyone interested in being involved in any way is invited to attend. Further details are available from Richard Scott on 01297 24157 or Peter Anderson on 01297 23507.

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