Abbots Langley Tough Ten Race is the latest local organisation to join in with the Back to the Front Project’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. This year each runner will be awarded a medal depicting the Project’s Tommy Langley emblem. The Tough Ten will take place at 10.30 on Sunday 7th October at the Manor House Gardens, Abbots Langley, WD5 0AP. Over the past 36 years the Race organisers have distributed many hundreds of thousands of pounds to local beneficiaries. Tickets can be purchased from Langley Travel, High Street Abbots Langley for the Pre-Race Curry Night at the Abbots Tandoori on 24th September.
In May 2018, Window Stickers and Soldiers’ Stories were distributed to the houses in Abbots Langley where from the Project’s research it was confirmed that a Serviceman of the Great War had lived. When Soldiers enlisted, many just gave a road name rather than an exact house number. Back to the Front has now associated this group of soldiers with the remaining houses in the centre of the village and has distributed redesigned Window Stickers and randomly selected Soldiers’ Stories to over 100 houses where it is highly likely that a Serviceman lived in every property. It is hoped that the occupiers of these houses will “adopt” the soldier mentioned in the stories that have been distributed.
Back to the Front held their first Great War Walk around Bedmond on August Bank Holiday Monday. 130 people joined the Walk to hear the stories of the men from the village and their exploits in the First World War. Two groups chose the longer of two walks, and as well as visiting key places along the village High Street, also walked out to Serge Hill, whilst three groups kept mainly to the centre of the village. Over 100 men from Bedmond served in the Great War. At the end of the Walk an excellent spread of refreshments was provided by the Friends of the Tin Church.
Planning is well underway for the Back to the Front Bedmond Great War Walk which will take place on Bank Holiday Monday 27th August 2018. This free event will leave the Bedmond Village Hall from 2.00pm. The Walk will visit the spots in and around the village where the soldiers lived one hundred years ago and the Walk Leaders will tell the stories of the Bedmond men that served in the First World War. Following the Walk refreshments will be available at the Village Hall.
By popular demand the Abbots Langley Great War Walk will be repeated on Sunday 9th September 2018. See where the Soldiers from the village lived. Learn about the village at the time of the First World War. Hear the Soldiers’ stories and of their exploits. Walk in their foot-steps through the village. This free event will repeat much of the route covered by the inaugural Walk in May 2018, but will also visit new areas of the village not previously covered. Meet at the Causeway Car Park in the centre of the village at 2.00pm for this two hour walk.
The Abbots Langley Parish Council has arranged for the refurbishment of the Langleybury War Memorial. Unveiled almost 99 years ago on 28th August 1919 by the Bishop of Buckingham, the work, which was completed earlier in June has cleaned the stonework of the Memorial which had discoloured over time and re-faced the lettering of the names which had deteriorated and were becoming unreadable.
The Mosaic Poppy was unveiled on Saturday 16th June at the Abbots Langley Millennium Gardens. The Poppy commemorates 100 years since the end of WW1, 100 years since both Royal British Legion and the RAF began and also 100 years of Lions International. Frank Rouse, an RBL Standard Bearer, who is also a Watford Lion, designed and built the poppy. The Poppy was unveiled by Liz Burns, an Abbots Langley Parish Councillor and RBL Branch Chairman.
The “Mud & Memorials” Clay Workshops began at the Divine Saviour RC JMI School in Abbots Langley on 15th June. Thirty pupils from three Year Groups worked with Clay Artist Jo Atherton and Project Leader Roger Yapp, creating clay tiles commemorating soldiers from the local villages. Over 200 tiles will be produced in the next six weeks and will be new War Memorials for Abbots Langley and Bedmond.
Seven local Junior Schools will participate with the “Back to the Front” Project “Mud & Memorials” Modern War Memorial Clay Workshops. Over 250 children will create and decorate clay tiles which will be used to build two new War Memorials. Work will commence in June and the new Memorials will be unveiled in the autumn. Progress can be followed at www.backtothefront.org and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts will be set up.
Over 220 walkers took part in the Abbots Langley Great War Walk at the May Bank Holiday. Organised in conjunction with the Abbots Langley Local History Society and Herts Walks and More, walkers heard the stories of the soldiers from the village, saw where they lived and learned about the village at the time of the First World War. At the end of the Walk refreshments were provided by the 1st Abbots Langley Scouts, where walkers were invited to visit an Exhibition researched by the Scout Leaders telling the stories of the part played by local Scouts during the Great War.