Commemorating the Great War

On Saturday 1st September 2018, Shepherdswell & Coldred History Society held its annual Big History Day. To mark the centenary of the end of the Great War, the event was devoted to the history of our communities during the years from 1914 to 1918.

Standing in a quiet corner of the hall, against the background of a ‘There but not there’ silhouette, was a specially engraved perspex block with the names of every Parish who was killed during The Great War. 

Exhibits contained information about those who served in the war, both men and women. Standing proudly on the stage, was a magnificent monument of knitted poppies cascading from a replica pit-head tower, loaned by our friends from the Elvington & Eythorne Heritage Centre.

A display recorded life at the village school, including extracts from the Head Teacher’s log book and admissions register. There were stories about community activities: collections of parcels for the troops, support for Belgium refugees. Some stories were of a lighter nature, such as that of a ‘bear on the loose’ in Coldred.

The Shepherdswell Guides and Brownies, who celebrated their centenary in 2018, provided a display of children’s toys from the period. 

Presentations were expertly delivered on ‘Our Village at War’ and the ‘Airfields of Dover District’.

During the day, a First World War lunch was served that included Trench Cake, as well as more conventional tea and cake. The day concluded with a concert of songs from the war performed by the Swell Singers, conducted by Harvey Richardson.

The History Society would like to thank all those who conducted research, those who helped or participated on the day and everyone who attended. We hope you agree that the event was a worthy commemoration of the lives of those that suffered during the conflict.

The following pages have been produced both as a record of the day and as an account of five harrowing years in the history of Shepherdswell and Coldred.