Essex: Cash made available to commemorate 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War


Poppies - Credit: Archant

THOUSANDS of pounds will be made available to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

Last month the Reporter launched a campaign aimed at encouraging people to plant poppies in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives for their country – and now Essex County Council (ECC) has revealed more about its plans for August 4 2014.

The authority has been awarded £65,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its ‘Now the Last Poppy has Fallen’ project, launching in September this year through to December 2015 and beyond.

It will focus on the lives of families, individuals and communities during the First World War in Essex.

There will be:

• A touring exhibition reflecting on stories from the Essex homefront;

• The development of museum education sessions for secondary school pupils;

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• The creation of reflective school performances;

• Artist commissions to help produce performances related to real life stories;

• Close partnership working between volunteers, museum staff, teachers, pupils and artists to develop an understanding of the First World War.

‘Now the Last Poppy has Fallen’ is a part of a wider four-year Government plan to mark the occasion, which will include national acts of remembrance, battlefield visits for school children and an extensive UK wide cultural programme.

ECC has also added an additional £10,000 of funding to ensure the project includes a touring exhibition.

Essex county councillor John Jowers, cabinet member for libraries, communities and planning, said: “This is really positive news that Essex County Council has been awarded this funding from the HLF to roll-out the ‘Now the Last Poppy has Fallen’ project to mark this momentous and somewhat sombre occasion.

“As a further commitment to this project, Essex County Council has added an additional £10,000 of funding to ensure that this project involves all in the community with a touring exhibition.”

Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF East of England, said: “The impact of the First World War was incredibly far reaching. This is just the beginning of some very interesting explorations for communities across Essex and we looking forward to seeing the stories they uncover.”

People in Uttlesford have also been asked for ideas about how to mark the day of remembrance. Saffron Walden Town Council will soon be discussing plans for the event, with suggestions ranging from inviting a regiment from Carver Barracks to march through the town, to a remembrance ceremony at the war memorial. There has also been talk of an informative and respectful re-enactment of the Great War on the Common.

It is hoped Saffron Walden museum and schools in the town will join in with the events, while the Royal British Legion is looking to unveil a 100-poppy wreath at the war memorial.