WW1 centenary commemoration events across Hertfordshire

Published: 24 Oct 2018


The 11 November will always be a memorable day every year but in 2018 the country is preparing to commemorate 100 years since the armistice of the First World War. Across Hertfordshire events will be held to commemorate and remember those who sacrificed their lives for both the country and the county.

Hertfordshire will be marking the centenary across the county with beacon lightings, Tommy silhouette statues, poppy displays, memorial services, museum exhibitions and more.

Hertfordshire County Council was recognised as an armed forces friendly organisation in 2017 after receiving the prestigious Silver Award from the Ministry of Defence for its employer recognition scheme. Being a signatory of the Hertfordshire Covenant the county council supports WW1 centenary events throughout the county and encourages public participation.

Hertfordshire County Council along with Hertford Town Council and East Herts District Council have organised the county beacon lighting event at Hertford Castle, which will see WW1 images projected onto the castle.

Councillor Terry Douris, chairman of the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board said: “Lighting beacons isn’t something that happens often and having them lit across Hertfordshire is a brilliant mark of respect for all those who lost their lives 100 years ago.

“The council recognises the importance of remembering what happened a century ago and the events happening across Hertfordshire are a great way of doing that.

“As a council we are keen to support commemorative events across our county and are pleased to have jointly organised Battle’s Over, a nations tribute at Hertford Castle with Hertford Town Council and East Herts District Council.

“We are encouraging everyone to get involved with the centenary programme happening across Hertfordshire as we all get ready to commemorate those who gave up their lives for us.”

Other events happening in the county

In Cheshunt on the Old Pond Roundabout the poppy display will be returning for a third year between 7 – 14 November, all made by local schools. There will also be a memorial service in Goffs Oak to remember Private Uglow, the youngest soldier to die from the borough in WW1.

Hemel Hempstead will see more than 1,000 origami doves displayed in an exhibition in Marlowes Shopping Centre, organised by Dacorum Heritage Trust between 20 – 31 October. The exhibition will then move to Berkhamsted Civic Centre from 9 – 10 November.

In Hertford members of the public are invited to ‘Family Tree Detectives’ at County Hall where military records, including new sources from the Treasury will be open. The workshop will take place on 6 November and tickets cost £5. The county beacon at Hertford Castle will be lit and WW1 images projected onto the building during an event on 11 November jointly organised by Hertfordshire County Council, Hertford Town Council and East Herts District Council.

The Royal British Legion in Stevenage will be visiting every WW1 grave in the town on 10 November to lay a special poppy cross on each one. They will be starting at 10.30 at St Nicholas Church, Rectory Lane.

St Albans Cathedral will be lit with stunning projections of poppies on 26 – 27 October between 7.30pm and 11pm. The display will include names of local soldier who have served in the armed forces. An exhibition called Lasting Peace at St Albans Museum will explore how the way we remember the First World War has changed, it will run until 25 November.

A play called Private Peaceful at the University of Hertfordshire’s Western Auditorium will relive the life of a young soldier who is awaiting the firing squad at dawn, it will be showing on 25 – 26 October. Mill Green Museum will be hosting a new interactive exhibition which explores the impact the end of the war had on local communities and how it was celebrated, it is open now and will run until 27 January 2019.

Watford Museum will host an exhibition showing the impact the First World War had on the area, it will run from 1 November – 22 December.

A list of WW1 centenary events across Hertfordshire can be found at https://bit.ly/2yxvmpH