Codford remembers Great War’s impact on Wylye Valley

Codford remembers Great War’s impact on Wylye Valley

Jo Lanham as a Voluntary Aid Detachment Nurse with the Red Cross

Ron Ulrich as an observer

First published in News

Wylye Valley 1914 Commemoration events at Codford organised by the Wylye Valley 1914 Committee were held in glorious weather.

Barbara Saunt who chaired the 1914 Committee and Richard Adams, members of the Codford History Society, oversaw the project of how the war affected the Wylye Valley villages.

The commemorations started on Wednesday with an inspiring presentation by Sir William Mahon on the Wylye Valley in 1914 and the impact war had. Sir William is a noted military historian, who is responsible for a beautifully illustrated and fascinating 40 page commemorative guide available locally.

On Friday and Saturday night the Woolstore Theatre production All Over by Christmas, played to sell out audiences.

Former Codford resident General Sir Roger Wheeler formally opened the weekend which focussed on Codford village hall and playing field. There were infantry and yeomanry re-enactors with mounts and vehicles, field kitchens, earth mode telegraph terminals, staffed medical and general hospital camp aspects, a machine gun post, a garrison artillery group with displays from guides, scouts and an air cadet base. There was a 30 metre trench very realistically dressed with barbed wire, debris, turned earth, abandoned and damaged equipment.

In the hall there were three films, one looking at the British Expeditionary Force in France during the first year of the war, narrated by Alec Saunt and two which looked at the military and the social impact on the villages of the influx of troops on small communities.

On Saturday there were two flypasts by a Tiger Moth aeroplane and on Sunday the City of Salisbury Royal British Legion Band and the Warminster Military Wives Choir performed before and during the Drumhead Service in the field.

Rev Adrian Pollard officiated, military and civilian standards were brought forward as the congregation sang Jerusalem.

The General Confession, a traditional prayer used in 1914, was read, followed by bible readings and an Act of Remembrance with the Last Post, the Silence and the Reveille.

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