Even though the rumble of guns may have seemed a million miles from Cambridgeshire in 1914, the area has a rich history to tell about the Great War.
It's this history that a special event is aiming to tell with its 100 year commemoration of the outbreak of hostilities.
The event, "˜The Last Day of Peace' is free and takes place at Hinchingbrooke House, Huntingdon on Sunday 3 August between 1 pm "“ 5 pm. It will bring to life the realities of the conflict on the home and frontline and will involve activities for all ages including:
- Re-enactors - in costume "“ bringing alive the spirit of the Great War
- The Music Hall Society performing music of the period.
- The Combat Veteran Players performing short extracts of Henry V and selected Rupert Brooke readings
- Six exhibitions including photographs, documents and letters from Cambridgeshire, Belgium and France
- Vignettes and reading of letters to and from the front
- Displays from St Neots Museum
- Expert advice on family history from Cambridgeshire Archives
- Refreshments made by Hinchingbrooke House's chef and catering team.
The event is part of a cross channel project called "˜Great War: Between the Lines' and is led locally by Cambridgeshire County Council, but it also involves partners in France and Belgium and other areas of the UK. Other activities include:
- A set of exhibitions currently touring local libraries, featuring photographs, letters and documents from the period
- an online community archive where people can see and contribute photographs and documents about the Great War. Visit http://www.great-war.ccan.co.uk/
- Great War walks to explore historic sites and places of remembrance to do with the Great War. Guides are available from local libraries and online at http://www.great-war.ccan.co.uk/ and click on the "˜Routes' tab.
Amanda O'Donoghue, who is leading the project at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "For the "˜Last Day of Peace' event, we have a wonderful venue at Hinchingbrooke House, that can help create an atmosphere to commemorate the Great War. There will be re-enactments, activities and exhibitions that we hope will make people aware of the contributions Cambridgeshire made to this hugely important milestone in world history. Working with partners in the UK, France and Belgium, we've been able to create a shared sense of history about the conflict too by sharing images and documents. The event is free and we want people across Cambridgeshire to join us on 3 August to commemorate the conflict."
For more information about the "˜Great War: Between the Lines' project and the Last Day of Peace event on 3 August, contact Sally-Ann Greensmith on 01223 715613