Beer to remember Great War 100 years on
- Credit: Archant
Two hobby historians from Beer are leading an ambitious project to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War.
Richard Scott and Peter Anderson are heading a programme of events they hope will involve the whole community and ensure the memories live on.
It will climax with the recreation, 100 years on, of an image painted by Beer artist John White before soldiers from the village went to war.
“We have unearthed some photos of Beer on the day before Britain declared war,” said Richard.
“There are Royal Naval Reserves marching – most of the fishermen in the village – with boys running alongside and women in big hats.
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“It looks like a scene out of [television programme] The Village.”
Richard and Peter, who were both born in Beer and had relatives who went to war, want another local artist to capture the day.
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The painting will hang in the village, and proceeds from the sale of prints will go to the Royal British Legion.
The pair also want to stage an exhibition with relics and letters from the war, and are looking at putting plaques on the houses of those who served.
While researching, Richard learned that three people were killed on the same day, and two of those were on the same boat at the Battle of Jutland.
He wants to invite military historians to detail the battles that villagers served in, and paint a picture of their own.
The events mirror a local and national interest in the centenary of the start of World War One.
Richard and Peter have long taken an interest in military history, and together had the name of soldier Allan Newton, who was born in Beer in 1891 and was killed on the Western Front in 1915, added to the village’s war memorial in 2011.
They will be joining a village heritage group coffee morning from 10am until noon on May 18, when residents can take along letters or items to be photographed for the exhibition. Anyone interested in taking part or donating to the project can email Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org.