Beer WW1 project nets £7,800 grant

17:30 27 April 2014

The Beer 2014 hopes to recreate the Royal Naval Reserves

The Beer 2014 hopes to recreate the Royal Naval Reserves' march away from the village

Archant

A project to remember the soldiers from Beer who served in World War One has received £7,800 to mark the centenary of its outbreak.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant is supporting the Beer 2014 group in tributes including lectures, an exhibition and a procession through the village.

‘A Village Remembers’ aims to remind residents and visitors alike of the contribution made by small communities like Beer, and to tell the stories of the survivors, as well as remembering those who died.

Group chairman Richard Scott said: “We are delighted to receive the support of the HLF, which will enable us to stage events which will form a fitting tribute to all those from the village who served in the First World War.”

The project was inspired by the discovery of photos of the reservists’ departure in 1914, together with other photos of Beer men serving in both the Royal Navy and the Army.

More than 130 men were sent to war in the armed forces and as merchant seamen.

To commemorate its outbreak, on August 3 a procession will re-enact an event of exactly 100 years before, when Royal Naval Reservists from the village marched off to war.

Members of the original families will take part.

This will be followed by an open air concert by the Ottery St Mary Silver Band, who will lead the procession.

From August 1 to 4 an exhibition will tell the stories of those who served, and on August 2 historians will deliver lectures on some of the key battles in which Beer men were involved.

Through Project COSMIC, a social enterprise based in Honiton, Beer 2014 will also create a website which will form a permanent record of the research conducted for the exhibition. Nerys Watts, the head of the HLF in the South West, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond.

“The HLF has already invested more than £47million in projects that are marking this global centenary.

“With our new small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in ‘A Village Remembers’ to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

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