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.
Over 220 properties in Abbots Langley received a window sticker and information pack including the stories of the Great War soldiers that had lived at that address over one hundred years ago. Window stickers were proudly displayed in time for the Abbots Langley Great War Walk and Walkers were amazed how many men from certain roads left the village to serve in the War. The interest created by this part of the Project was amazing and many emails were received from villagers who were proud to display their stickers.
National Lottery support for Abbots Langley’s Great War Project to mark First World War Centenary.
Today “Back to the Front”, Abbots Langley’s Great War Commemoration Project has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its project – “Abbots Langley’s Great War”. The project will research, record and remember those from the villages of Abbots Langley, Bedmond, Langleybury, Hunton Bridge and Leavesden in Hertfordshire that served during the First World War. This will be made possible through HLF’s “First World War Then and Now Programme” and is funded by the National Lottery.
The project will focus on the part played by the men and women of these villages throughout the Great War, and through a series of events and activities will share the outcome of its research with the local communities to create a better understanding of the heritage of the First World War.
Workshops will be held at local schools, where children will learn about the part played by men and women from the villages, and will work with artists and historians to create a modern War Memorial to be displayed at Abbots Langley. Emblems will be displayed at the houses where the Great War soldiers lived, and the current occupants will be presented with the stories of the exploits of these men and women. Great War Walks around Abbots Langley and Bedmond in conjunction with the “Hertfordshire Health Walks” and “Walks and More” programmes will be organised at the late May and August Bank Holiday weekends. Exhibitions will be held in the villages in October and November to display the results of the project’s research. In November a newly commissioned production using music and local stories from the time of the War and will be presented at the Henderson Hub Arts Centre at Abbots Langley. To help the research work, and to plan and organise the programme of events the Project seeks to encourage a team of volunteers, and it is hoped that this group will learn some new skills working with this heritage project.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, and it is fitting that the “Abbots Langley Great War Project” will enable local people to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of the part played in this global conflict by the people of these Hertfordshire villages. The research undertaken by the project will live on long after 2018.
The project has launched a new web site at www.backtothefront.org where more information about the programme of events and details of how to support the project as a volunteer can be found. As the project progresses, information gathered will be digitally recorded and an online archive will be created where everyone can access and contribute information.
Commenting on the award, Roger Yapp the “Back to the Front” Project Leader said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the National Lottery and will be working hard throughout 2018 to research, record and remember the heritage of the First World War in Abbots Langley and the surrounding villages.”
Notes to editors
About “Back to the Front”
“Back to the Front” is a community-based Project formed to research, record and remember the men and women from Abbots Langley, Bedmond, Hunton Bridge, Langleybury and Leavesden who served during the Great War (1914-18). Over one thousand men from the five Hertfordshire villages served, some never to return, all with a story to tell and some as yet not remembered on the village War Memorials. The Project aims to uncover and record these stories and commemorate and remember these individuals a century on from the conflict. Already the Project has compiled the stories of over 700 men and women that served in the First World War, and project historians have given talks to local organisations and schools, organised exhibitions and staged a Candle Lit Vigil to mark the start of the Great War in August 2014 attended by over 700 people from the local villages.
Through association with other organisations in the local area the Project also aims to continue to retell the stories and raise awareness of how the war impacted everyday life for everyone who lived through those times. The Project Team comprises representatives from the Abbots Langley Local History Society, Abbots Langley Parish Council, Bedmond Task Force, Royal British Legion (Abbots Langley), Three Rivers District Council, Western Front Association and St Lawrence Church (Abbots Langley). Throughout the 2014 to 2019 period a Programme will be developed to include performance, music and community-based events, talks, exhibitions, trips to the Western Front battlefields, walks, a re-creation of the villages’ Rolls of Honour, and involvement with the local schools.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund and support for First World War heritage
- Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.
- To date, £82million in HLF grants has been awarded to projects across the UK so they can mark the Centenary and explore all aspects of First World War heritage that matters to them. Through its First World War: then and now programme, HLF is making at least £1million available per year for six years until 2019. It is providing grants between £3,000 and £10,000 enabling communities and groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict. To find out how to apply for funding visit www.hlf.org.uk/thenandnow If a group needs a grant of more than £10,000 for a First World War project, it can apply to HLF through its open programmes www.hlf.org.uk/firstworldwar
- To join the conversation on social media please use #understandingww1
Please contact Roger Yapp, Project Leader, “Back to the Front” Project at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 01923 677507
Abbots Langley Bell Ringers will be commemorating the end of the Great War on the morning of Sunday 11th November 2018 as part of a nationwide movement to honour the memory of the 1,400 bell ringers from across the country that died during the Great War.
Organised by the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers it is hoped that 1,400 new bell-ringers can be recruited to join their local group. Join up and become part of the moment. For more information contact email@example.com
Over a hundred men from Bedmond served during the First World War, and on 19th February, led by Wendy Ball, an enthusiastic new group of Bedmond Volunteers met at the Tin Church to start planning activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the War to take place throughout 2018. Activities so far include a War Walk around the village, identification of all existing properties where soldiers lived and a Concert Party evening at Bedmond Hall on Saturday 3rd November. To join the Back to the Front Volunteers contact firstname.lastname@example.org