Whilst on the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tour Programme we learnt both about the scale of devastation and the personal stories within it that can often be overlooked. By researching individuals such as Cyril Manners and John Henry Fletcher, both of which served for the Wiltshire Regiment in the Great War and lived in Corsham and Neston, we were able to gain a personal insight into the impact of their deaths on family and friends. During the programme, we visited cemeteries including Tyne Cot, Langemark and Thiepval, as well as attending the ‘Last Post’ ceremony at Menin Gate in Ypres, where each day since 1928 an act of remembrance commemorates a different fallen solider. As an additional act of remembrance, we also participated in the ‘Coming World Remember Me’ pottery project that aims to create an art instillation in 2018 of 600,000 clay soldiers to commemorate those that died on Belgian soil during World War 1. Such memorials and ceremonies illustrate that to this day, it is of equal importance to remember the lives lost and lessons learnt in order to prevent future tragedies.
Since returning from the Centenary Battlefield Programme, we have endeavoured to inform our peers and families of the importance of commemorating those who died. To express how this opportunity has profoundly affected our outlook on the Great War and everyday life, we intend to compile our video footage of the experience into a short remembrance clip to reach a wider audience in light of the ‘Legacy 110’ scheme.
“When you go Home, tell them of us and say, For your Tomorrow, we gave our Today” John Maxwell Edmunds (1916)
Lest We Forget.