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Willaston WW1 Commemoration Weekend

Published: 9th November 2018 10:13

Willaston will be commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War with a programme of activities designed to remember those in our village who lost their lives and to celebrate those who returned and the end of hostilities.

Silhouettes have appeared on benches around Willaston as part of the village's activities to commemorate the end of WW1. It is believed that 148 men from Willaston served in the First World War - from a population of only 806 people. 34 people are listed on the village War Memorial as having lost their lives and a further two died shortly after the war as a result of their service. The silhouettes have been put up to remember those that did not return.

We have a village walk available to learn more about the village in 1918 and about the lives of some of those that never returned. The walk sheet is available from McColls or can be downloaded from the Resident Society's website: https://willastoninwirralresidents.org/ 

WW1 commemorations in WillastonSilhouettes similar to this one will appear in various public places at the end of Ocotber.

A series of events will take place over the weekend as follows:

  • Concert featuring Alex McMillan on the organ and the City of Chester Male Voice Choir - Friday 9th November at 7.30pm at Christ Church. Tickets cost £12 which includes a glass of wine and tickets are available after 1st October from Jill Lessels (0151 327 1283), Alan Roberts (0151 327 4600) or White Feather Home.
  • Film - Oh What A Lovely War - Saturday 10th November at 7pm in the Methodist Chapel. Entrance is free but an entrance ticket is needed. Tickets are, available after 1st October from Jill Lessels or Sheila Smith (0151 327 7400).
  • Children's Art session - Saturday 10th November from 9.30am -5pm in the Methodist Chapel. This will feature WW1 work already done by local children but will also encourage other children to contribute. The Chapel will also be open on Sunday 11th November for viewing the work.
  • Exhibition about Willaston from 1914 to 1925, showing the effects of the war on our community. Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th November from 11am to 3pm in the Memorial Hall.
  • The uniformed organisations parade and commemorative service will take place on Sunday 11th November with the two minute silence held by the war memorial at 11am, followed by a service in Christ Church. The parade will then walk up to Hadlow Road Station before being dismissed.
  • Celebratory event at Hadlow Road Station from 12.30pm to 3.30pm featuring music and entertainment from the era, along with poems and WW1 letters sent home being read.

A Willaston resident at the time of WW1 was Arthur Maiden who went to Willaston School, which was on the village Green in those days and where the beech tree now grows.

His mother lived in Gladstone Terrace and his father was a railway platelayer who was killed in 1903 when working near Hooton Station. Arthur was sent to France and died age 22 on 30th July 1916 in the Troones Wood fighting on the first day of the Battle of Guillemont at the Somme. He is commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial and also on his parents' grave in the churchyard. 

The weekend's activities have been put together by a community sub-group led by Willaston Residents' and Countryside Society, working with representatives from Christ Church, Friends of Hadlow Road Station, Royal British Legion, Willaston Festival Society, Willaston Methodist Chapel, Lest We Forget Research Group, 1st Willaston Scout Group and Girlguiding Wirral Heritage Advisers.

All profits from the weekend will go to The Poppy Appeal.

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