Wokingham will remember the fallen

A series of special events will be held in Wokingham offering all ages the chance to stop and remember the events of the First World War.

On Monday, August 4, the world will remember the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War with a series of vigils and lights out.

Wokingham Town Council is planning a wide range of events over the anniversary weekend so that everyone has a chance to stop and remember.

On Friday, August 1, Wokingham Library will hold a special session for children aged four to 12, exploring the vehicles used during the First World War. The session runs from 10am to 11am and costs £1.50. Places should be booked by calling 0118 978 1368.

The Sunny Saturdays programme in Market Place has a Great War theme for Saturday, August 2. The Brave Soldiers will be performing a nostalgic mix of old songs aimed at marking the centenary. The trio will be performing for free from 11am to 1.30pm.

On the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the land on which the REME Garrison is currently based was the site of an Army Remount Depot. To mark its role, the museum has put together a special exhibition to look at the journey of the horses from purchase and the Remount Depot, to their transport and role on the Front. The exhibition runs until August 31 and there is a special day on Monday, August 4 so that children can understand more about the work of the horses.

The town will then unite on the evening of Monday, August 4 for a commemoration vigil at St Paul’s Church in Reading Road. Running from 9pm, the event starts with a service of compline, leading to a time of quiet reflection, led by the church’s priest, the Revd Richard Lamey.

During the evening of silence, prayers, readings and music, the congregation will see the light of candles disappear one by one until a final remaining candle is extinguished at 11pm, symbolising the day the lights went out over Europe.

Entry is free.

On Wednesday, August 6, Wokingham Town Hall will be the venue for a valuation day. You are invited to bring along items from the Great War to have them appraised and valued. It could be medals, photographs, letters or memorabilia.

Entry is free and selected items may become part of the town’s First World War display at Heritage Open Day on Sunday, September 14 and also become part of the Wokingham Virtual Museum.

Items can be valued from 10am to noon and 2pm to 4pm at the Town Hall on Wednesday, August 6.

For more details on these events, log on to the Town Council’s website.