Stories of Great War fallen heroes told in exhibition

By Ian Dipple Friday 01 August 2014 Updated: 01/08 09:23

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Buy photos » The story of Wilfrid Keay, pictured here with his wife Ethel, will be among those on display at the Remembering Redditch’s Fallen Heroes exhibition. (s)

THE STORIES behind some of those who gave their lives during The Great War are set to be revealed at a special exhibition.

Over the last two years volunteers have been researching the background of those who lost their lives during the conflict as part of the Remembering Redditch’s Fallen Heroes project.

The full findings of their research will be revealed in a book to be published later this year but some of the stories of the 400 plus men killed will be on display as part of an exhibition at St Philip’s Church in Webheath starting from Monday, August 4 at 5pm, closing on Saturday, August 9.

They include details of Redditch’s own war poet, a relative of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and a true hero who was recognised twice for his bravery.

Visitors will also be able to view the heartbreaking letter sent from the wives of one of the soldiers which he never got to read.

Ian Dipple, chairman of the Remembering Redditch’s Fallen Heroes project, said: “It’s been a fascinating and emotional journey over the last two years. When we started the project the aim was to try and bring these men to life and rescue them from the mists of history.

“Those of us involved with the research now feel very close to them, they have become much more than names on a memorial but like friends and we’re eager to start sharing their stories, however short in many cases, so people can understand the true scale of their sacrifice.”

The exhibition will also feature artefacts, memorabilia and models from the First World War, details of life in Redditch during the conflict and a special section dedicated to the D-Day landings which took place 70 years ago.

The event is being opened by Mayor Pat Witherspoon and takes place on the 100th anniversary of Britain’s entry into the First World War. After the exhibition closes at 10pm a candlelit vigil will take place to mark the occasion.

Admission is free and there will be an optional collection in aid of St Philip’s Organ and Building Fund.

The exhibition runs from 5pm to 10pm on Monday, August 4, 2pm to 9pm Tuesday to Friday, August 5 to 8 and 10am to 4pm on Saturday, August 9.

A FIRST World War commemoration service will be held in Alcester on Sunday (August 3).

From 3pm until 4pm a special service will be held at St Nicholas Church. The following day from 10.45pm until 11.15pm a candle lit vigil will also be held outside the church.

Residents are invited to bring their own candles, light them, and then blow them out at 11am leaving just one candle on the war memorial.

A SHORT service of remembrance is being held at the war memorial in Studley (August 3) from 11am to remember those who lost their lives in the First World War.

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