Towns and villages, churches and councils, schools and museums are all preparing to remember the Wiltshire people who lost their lives in the Great War.
A painting called The Poppy Fields of France by local artist Derek Stark will be displayed in St Giles church in Stanton St Quintin as part of the village’s World War I centenary celebrations.
The village did not have a war memorial until 2012, following a fundraising project by Nick Greene, churchwarden and chairman of the parish council, who collected £6200 to commission a stonemason. Now the war memorial is the focus of an annual service on Remembrance Day, with a visit by local schoolchildren in the run-up to Remembrance Day and military representation from Buckley Barracks at the service.
This year, for the centenary of the Armistice, as well as pictures of the final resting place of the village’s fallen soldiers the display in the church includes details of all 44 men who went to fight in World War 1. Mr Stark’s new painting is also a part of the commemorative display.
A retired managing director of Westinghouse Systems who has lived in Stanton St Quintin since 1965, Mr Stark said:
“The original idea of the work came to me from several different sources - the sky came from a photo my sister emailed to me.”
Visitors to Calne town centre will see the spectacular river of poppies made by school children from recycled materials and now on display at Beach Terrace.
The poppies each carry the name from the town’s war memorial or of a person connected to the child’s family. The display was put in place by personnel from MOD Lyneham.
In Luckington, the village hall, church and parish council have joined forces to buy a six-foot aluminium Tommy, run by the There but Not There campaign, to be erected in the hall with a plaque, at a ceremony attended by the Dowager Duchess of Beaufort, as well we Scouts, Guides and representatives from the Royal British Legion. The service will start at 10.50am in the village hall, including a Remembrance service.
Pupils from Luckington School are making a banner which will form part of the wreath laying ceremony, to be followed by a special Tommy’s Lunch at the Old Royal Ship pub in Luckington afterwards.