First World War Centenary: Tameside to remember WWI 100 years on by uniting with servicemen

By James Metcalf

To remember The Great War 100 years on, Tameside Council are launching a campaign to cement links between the borough and its servicemen and women.

Since signing the Armed Forces Covenant last year, the borough aims to support its veterans with this new project.

Including theatre, literature, music, dance, and film, Tameside Cultural Services are offering a wide range of activities in a build-up to the First World War’s centenary next year.

Tameside Council’s assistant executive member for heritage, tourism and culture, Jackie Lane, said:  “It is only right that we commemorate the centenary of the First World War, a conflict which had such a colossal and long-lasting effect on Europe.

“I’m sure there will be plenty of formal occasions to mark the anniversary. However, what pleases me about the poppy project is that it will involve the whole community, using the full arts spectrum to offer a new perspective on this pivotal and cataclysmic conflict.”

Community-wide involvement will also be encouraged through a series of heritage conservation efforts involving buildings, memorials, photographs, and letters from the time.

This Tameside project comes after the Royal British Legion announced their plan to roll out the Centenary Poppy Campaign across the country earlier this month.

Initially piloted by the Greenhithe and Swanscombe branch of the Legion in Kent, this scheme would see millions of poppy seeds planted across the country.

It was, however, refused its Heritage Lottery Fund bid of £92,000, despite receiving public endorsement from Prince Charles and the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

In spite of this, the Legion has entered a partnership with DIY store B&Q who promised to sell the seeds, thereby allowing the project to go ahead.

Charles Byrne, The Royal British Legion’s Director of Fundraising, said of the Tameside project: “We’re pleased to see members of the public, local government, schools and community groups making this campaign their own in their local communities.”

As one of the only plants to grow following the aftermath at the front line, the red Flanders poppy became synonymous with the war effort and has long been a national symbol of remembrance.

Picture courtesy of Ian Britton, with thanks.

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