RESIDENTS young and old turned out in Droitwch Town Centre on Sunday (July 13) for a special commemoration to mark the start of the First World War.
The service was led by Rachel Wheeler from the town’s Methodist Church and there were contributions from the Catholic church and the Salvation Army.
Youngsters, led by Westlands First School, laid a cross for each solider from Droitwich who had given their life and members of the community were invited to join in with the ceremony as well.
Among those laying wreaths were MP Sir Peter Luff, Droitwich Mayor, Coun Bob Brookes, the chairman of the Worcestershire Royal British Legion, David Waldron, Worcestershire County Council chairman, Coun Pam Davey, and Wychavon District Council chairman Lynne Duffy.
A drumhead altar was also laid by the Droitwich Air Cadets and Lee Fisher from the Salvation Army played the last post.
Stephen Moore, chairman of the Droitwich branch of the Royal British Legion said: “The event went really well and i would like to thank everyone who helped contribute to it.”
Sir Luff added: “It was an impressive and well-organised event that honoured those from the Spa who fell in the Great War with dignity.
“The town owes a debt to all the organisers for this memorable occasion which involved all generations in an act of civic remembrance.”
And Coun Brookes said: “The event’s main aim was to involve Droitwich’s younger people and make them aware of the First World War and the sacrifices made.
“The children reading their poetry and prose was so poignant.
“My father was in France in Ypres and it was so horrible he did not really speak about it.”
The event was also used to launch a First World War commemorative book. That contained pictures, a roll of honour and poetry done by Droitwich schoolchildren which was entered into a competition ran in the town. The works will also be the subject of an exhibition at the town’s library.
Mr Moore added: “I would like to thank the schoolchildren and teachers involved from Chawson and Westland’s first schools, Witton and Westacre Middle Schools and Droitwich Spa High School for providing poems and letters.
“It is really important that children learn lessons from the past to continue to create a better future and of the sacrifices many have given.”
Proceeds from the book, which is available to buy from the Royal British Legion in Salwarpe Road, will be put towards the Poppy Appeal.
It is hoped it will also be on sale at the Droitwich Tourist Information Centre and the library.
There were some very poignant moments during the service. s
Droitwich residents young and old attended the ceremony to remember those who had made the ultimate sacrifice. s
The WWI Commemorative Book was also launched on Sunday. s