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YOU ARE HERE > COMMUNITY > World_War_ONE_Commemoration_1914_2018 > TILL THE BOYS COME HOME
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Kent
Eden Valley Museum...WW1 Event Proves a Success!
Kent
WW1 COMMEMORATIVE EVENT
Proves a Success!
Marking the Centenary of the Great War 1914-1918
 
 

“Til The Boys Come Home”...the WW1 Commemorative event took place under dark skies, spots of rain, and sunshine breaking through the clouds...but despite the weather, the event was certainly a big “Congratulations” for all the staff, helpers, cooks, organisers and friends at The Eden Valley Museum.

At 10.00 the town band led the parade from the Market yard down to the Museum, followed by the Rifle Brigade and The Queens Own, accompanied by the local Edenbridge Scout Group, on arrival in the yard behind the Museum the soldiers stood to attention on the order from their Sergeant Lawrence Taylor.

 
 

 

The welcome speech was presented by Chairman of the Town Council, Robert Orridge with his opening remarks, then The Edenbridge Town Band, played some of the most favourite tunes from the 1st War years, as people congregated around them to listen. Many local people came dressed in clothes of the 1914 – 18 period and looked wonderful, as did the Great War nurses wearing their red capes and blue uniforms.


For those who took part in the fantastic displays, which was very exciting to watch was - The Rifle Brigade and The Queens Own, they dressed in exactly the same uniforms as the “Boys” did in 1914; being kitted out as WW1 soldiers. (During WW1 these back – packs weighed about 80lbs, full of all the equipment necessary, extra ammunition, cutters, bandages, spades, knives etc, needed during an advance and attack on enemy positions)

Their displays was a great attraction for the many who visited the event as the “soldiers” demonstrated the Army drill and training procedures of 1914 and onwards; loading & re-loading rifles, bayonet drill, self – defence instruction, gas mask application & drill, weapons. The crowds loved every moment of their superb display, as many mentioned afterwards...”It was fantastic!”

Till the Boys come Home - Click Here

Some armaments were on display with an replica Stokes mortar, after being shown how this device works and the projectiles it fired was amazing!

The Forge Singers all dressed in period costume of the day “looked fabulous”, handing out song sheets to all those watching so they could all join in a sing – along, they gave a superb rendering of some of the Great War songs...that the “Boys” not only sung to keep morale high on their way to war as they left England, but also on the front line, in the mess halls and on short leave...reminding them of “Home” their Dear loved ones so far away!

 

Inside Rickard’s hall, the tables were all laid – out in white linen so people could buy a cup of tea or coffee with a home - cakes, served by those dressed in the costume of the day as cooks and waitresses, there they could sit and relax as the band played outside. There was a great display by the Rifle Brigade of mementoes and authentic memorabilia from the “Great War”...especially interesting was a box of food that parents, friends, girlfriends and wives would send their “man” on the Western Front, as they knew the food there was not that good. (Some of the limbers and horses that carried the bread & soup, beans etc (and if lucky some meat) couldn’t get near the front line, so either the starving men had to wait until the battle was finished and eat cold food, or many brave cooks would carry the food in the containers long distances to the men, facing machine – gun fire, artillery and mortar explosions...some made it...others were killed in trying!)

 

There was a photographic display about the “Home Front” during the “Great War” especially some superb images from the - Rifle Brigade ladies, of those thousands of young girls and women who worked in these factories scattered across England, more so the Woolwich Arsenal, South London. (A lady I knew some years ago Elsie Tyndall came from Woolwich, she explained her work at the armaments depot at 14 years old ( her father had just been killed on the Somme) relating how very dangerous it was, with no safety means for any of these workers at all, many she said after days filling artillery shells with T.N.T developed a yellow tinge on their face and bodies, due to the toxic and poisons being absorbed into the skin...hence they had the nickname..”canary’s”)

In the room above the Museum, a Belgian film was being shown all through the event at intervals and questions and answers given to those who were certainly “moved” by what they saw, with Major Andrew Morgan (Surgeon) overseeing this splendid show...it was sad, horrendous but thought provoking for all the many dozens who watched it!

It was a superb day for the commemoration of “The Great War”...100 years ago this year. The town and the Museum should be proud that such a splendid event was held, for all those that took part, helped out and came to see this, was a good memory, a moment of reflection and sadness, or of joy for those that came back, or perhaps a tear or two for the...”Boys, who never came Home!”

Please visit the websites and e-mail addresses below for more information...

www.evmt.org.uk

curator@evmt.org.uk

www.riflebrigade.org.uk

alma54@fsmail.net

www.thequeensown.com

depot@thequeensown.com

 

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and Facebook: www.facebook.com/edenvalleymuseum
Eden Valley Museum, Church House, 72 High Street, Edenbridge TN8 5AR
01732 868102 curator@evmt.org.uk
Registered Charity no. 1065466

 
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