WITH VIDEO: WW1 heroes honoured in Dorchester

Dorset and The Great War event at the Corn Exchange - Joyce Ray (centre) with volunteers in period costume Picture: GRAHAM HUNT

Dorset and The Great War event at the Corn Exchange - Joyce Ray (centre) with volunteers in period costume Picture: GRAHAM HUNT

First published in News
Last updated
Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

THE community came together in Dorchester to commemorate the heroes of the First World War.

Visitors to the Corn Exchange were transported back in time as the county town held a special commemoration event to mark the centenary of the conflict.

Watch a video by Graham Hunt here

There were re-enactors in period dress, performances of songs from the First World War and food from the era on offer.

The event also included talks from local historians, First World War memorabilia, musical performances, a children’s craft workshop and a range of stalls from the likes of the Keep Military Museum, the Dorset County Museum, the Dorset History Centre, the Royal Naval Association and the Quakers.

Mayor of Dorchester Peter Mann opened the event and also had the first go at the Walking in their Shoes trail, a project put together by young people in the town that saw them create an interactive geocache walk that allows people to walk in the shoes of a Dorset soldier training for the First World War.

A special guest at the launch of the project was Joyce Ray, whose mother used to serve the soldiers refreshments at the old rest home in what is now the Routes building in North Square as well as at functions at the Corn Exchange.

Cllr Mann said the whole day was a great occasion for the town to celebrate and remember the efforts of not just the brave soldiers from the area who went to war but also those at home whose lives changed so drastically and showed their own form of courage.

He said: “It is a wonderful community collaboration.

“I think it is quite right that we should be commemorating this centenary because Dorch-ester played an important part in the 1914-1918 war.

“It was an important event in the history of this area, the Dorchester barracks were the scene of eager volunteers coming almost as soon as war broke out and were an important military centre for the preparation for active service.

“Just adjacent to the Dorchester barracks there was also a significant German prisoner of war camp, which at one stage housed 4,500 prisoners.

“That reminds us I think that this was not just a local event but also a global war.”

Town councillor Molly Rennie said it was great to see a whole range of groups coming together to commemorate the centenary.

She said: “It’s just fabulous, what is so great is how everybody has just come together and wanted to be involved with it.”

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