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A series of events and activities will be taking place across Daventry District this year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Organisations including Daventry District Council, Daventry Town Council, Futures Housing Group, the Daventry Branch of the Royal British Legion, the Daventry & District Forum and local churches are co-ordinating a wide range events in the lead-up to the centenary of the historic armistice of 11 November 1918, which ended four years of fighting.

The events will take place within the 100-days leading up to November 11, echoing the Hundred Days Offensive – the Allies’ final push along the Western Front which finally broke the military stalemate.

They include:

Memorial Benches
Parish Councils and community groups across Daventry District were given the opportunity to apply for a First World War Memorial Bench, with the cost subsidised by Daventry District Council.

We received a total of 37 applications and are in the process of making arrangements with the applicants with a view to delivering the benches in late October/early November. 

The Big Poppy Plant
First held four years ago to commemorate the centenary of the war’s outbreak, the Big Poppy Plant has again seen communities across the District supplied with a free ‘Remembrance’ poppy seed mix for planting in public areas. The flowers will emerge in the summer through to the autumn, acting as a symbol of remembrance as well as providing havens for insect pollinators.

The Empty Chair Project
Daventry Museum will work on this project with local historian Gerry Thompson, to remember the 114 soldiers from Daventry who lost their lives in the Great War. Local schools and community groups are being invited to make and decorate a small model chair to represent each individual soldier. The chairs will be displayed at the museum from 3 to 11 November before being given to those who wish to remember a soldier by setting an empty seat at their table on Remembrance Sunday on 11 November. Anyone wishing to take part should contact the museum on 01327 301246 or email museum@daventrytowncouncil.gov.uk  Download an information leaflet about the project here

World War One Centenary Exhibition
This commemorative exhibition at Daventry Museum reflects on the end of World War One and post-war Daventry. The exhibition opened on Saturday 1 September and runs until 14 December. More information about Daventry Museum

Churches Together Songs of Praise Service
This event at the Holy Cross Church on 16 September featured family-favourite hymns and readings, together with popular songs and poetry from WW1. The event also included a tribute to Ted Sharpe from Daventry, a veteran of the D-Day landings who died last year.

Handmade Poppy Project
Daventry Town Council is looking for hundreds of crocheted and knitted poppies, which will be put together to form the silhouette of a First World War Soldier and displayed at the Holy Cross Church in Daventry. Those who are a dab hand with a crochet hook or knitting needle can download a poppy pattern and find out more at www.daventrytowncouncil.gov.uk 

Centenary Tea Dance
The Daventry & District Forum hosted this special First World War-themed tea dance at the Saxon Suite on Thursday 20 September.

Remembrance Day Parade
Daventry Town Council are co-ordinating the parade on 11 November, which will see the Royal British Legion and other local organisations pay tribute to the soldiers of the Great War. A total of 114 crosses, representing the soldiers from Daventry who fell, will be placed on Daventry’s War Memorial by children from local schools.

Armistice Festival
Choirs, dance, music and theatre groups are invited to take part in Be Brave and Come Home Safe, an immersive and interactive performance based on experiences of soldiers from Daventry and Rugby during the First World War. Written by BAFTA-nominated dramatist and librettist Martin Riley and produced by The Wheels on Debussy, the show will combine the talents of professional musician and storyteller Matthew Sharp with actors, singers and dancers from the local community. It will be performed on November 8 in Rugby and November 11 in Daventry. For more information email thewheelsondebussy@hotmail.com or visit www.thewheelsondebussy.com

Creative Competition
The Royal British Legion, in partnership with Never Such Innocence, is holding a nationwide competition for 9 to 16 year-olds to say thank you to the First World War generation by creating a song, a poem, or a work of art. The best entries may even feature at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, attended by Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family. Find out more at www.britishlegion.org.uk


Keep up-to-date and promote your projects
Further information about these events, plus details of other activities taking place to mark the centenary will be published at lovedaventry.com/whats-on as they are confirmed. 

If you are planning to organise a local community event for the centenary – or for any other reason for that matter – please let us know by emailing news@daventrydc.gov.uk

For information on nationwide events visit the website of the Imperial War Museum