Big Remembrance Day commemoration planned in Wellington as volunteers publish new book

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The biggest Remembrance Day commemoration for several years is due to take place in Wellington as a group of volunteers celebrate two years of research ending in a published book.

Lych Gate at All Saints Church is Wellington's War Memorial. Photo: Google Street View
Lych Gate at All Saints Church is Wellington’s War Memorial. Photo: Google Street View

A project to identify and find out about all 184 war dead named on the town Lychgate has brought families together, linked generations and uncovered more about the town’s history.

The dedicated team of volunteers set out in 2016 not knowing anything about the people behind the names on the gateway to All Saints Church.

They now have a face to many of the names and a story of their life, showing some were from as far away as New Zealand.

All the information found will be on display at an exhibition at The Gratitude Cafe from November 5 to 11 and a celebration event remembering these people will take place on Remembrance Day.

Mary Rogers, of Wellington Remembers 1914-1918, said: “It is going to be the biggest Remembrance Day programme we have had in Wellington for some years.

“There will be a procession, a band leading 184 people representing all the people named on the Wellington Lychgate – these people will either be relatives or young people.

“Each will carry a poppy which has a name plate with a picture on.

“A biography of one of the 184 will be read and 12 books of all the research, a special limited edition print run, will be presented to local organisations including the Town Council, the library and Shropshire Archives.

“We are really looking forward to it.”

Wellington Town Council and The Rotary Club of Wellington have sponsored the commission of two big boards with pictures and details of all 184 names. These will be put up on the railings in the ground of All Saints Church.

At the exhibition in the week prior to Remembrance Day there will be three digital displays, two facing the street and one inside The Gratitude Cafe in Duke Street.

There will also be war-time memorabilia like home comforts, replica medals, knitwear – to portray what it was like to be involved in the war.

Mary added: “This project has been a huge undertaking for this small group of dedicated volunteers.

“We are all very passionate about the project and excited to see it reaching a climax after what feels like a very long time.

“After receiving Heritage Lottery Funding we spent many months pouring over war diaries, census details and listening to the stories of local people.

“We hope many people will be interested to see the fruits of our labour and come to see the exhibition from November 5 and then come along to be part of the Remembrance Day event too, it is shaping up to be a very special occasion.”

Before the event on November 11 Wellington Remembers 1914-1918 will also be involved in the First World War Showcase Day at Shirehall, Shrewsbury, on October 20.

You can also see their work in digital format at Shropshire Archives after November 11.

For more information or to find out how you can help contact the group on wellingtonremembers@outlook.com, call 07944 435 978, search for Wellington Remembers 1914-1918 on Facebook or visit wellingtonremembers.wordpress.com.

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