SLIDESHOW: Wetherby area pays tribute on World War 1 centenary

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Solemn tributes were paid last weekend to remember the sacrifices made by thousands who fought in the First World War.

Services, rededications of memorials and exhibitions of memorabilia took place in the Wetherby area to mark the 100th anniversary of Britain joining the Great War.

Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke said: “It was incredibly humbled to join fellow residents across my constituency to mark the centenary of the beginning of the Great War.

“The memorial services I attended in Harewood, Barwick, Wetherby and Shadwell acted as a moment for poignant reflection as we remembered those from our community who gave their lives in conflict.

“Now more than ever, history provides valuable lessons to the world and offers as a reminder that peace should never be a luxury, but a given for people in the 21st century.”

In Wetherby the Methodist Church held an exhbition in a collaboration with the town’s historical trust and the Women’s Institute ran a NAAFI canteern coffee morning in the town hall last Saturday.

And the following day a dedication of the new Peace Garden on Caxton Street took place, followed by a commemorative service at the Methodist Church.

In Barwick and Scholes large numbers of residents attended war memorials re-dedications, parades and church services in both villages.

They were joined by a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, representing the Queen, by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, city and parish councillors and armed forces veterans. Alec Shelbrooke, MP attended the Barwick ceremony.

Lest Spofforth Forgets saw an exhibition the focus of last weekend, with the content put together by local historian Margaret Power.

June Geddes of Spofforth Parish Council said: “The weekend was a great success.

“Margaret was missing two photographs so, imagine her delight when someone brought in a photo of a great uncle who was one of those she didn’t have a face for.

“What she has created and will continue to expand is an absolute classic time capsule.

“Her research was not only the people but the village, the school, the church, the sadness, the joy.

“It was an amazing exhibition which had many in tears, because of the poignancy of the stories she had to tell.”

On the day Margaret handed to the Mayor of Harrogate a marble plaque, found in a skip in Starbeck, given by the Belgium Refugees to the citizens of Harrogate in 1918 to thank them for their help and support.

The commemoration of World War I held at Boston Spa Village Hall last Sunday exceeded all expectations with about 2,000 people attending, including some from as far away as Australia.

The event was opened by John Richardson, Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

In the Lantern Room over 100 pieces of memorabilia were displayed in 15 six-feet display cabinets constructed by Ken Waller. Items included rifles, bayonets, medals, letters and postcards. A short history of some of the men whose names appear on the War Memorial of Boston Spa and Thorp Arch was displayed on the walls.

Performances were by provided by John Townend, Wetherby Musical Theatre, Tadcaster Chorale, Sue Lees and pupils.




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