The War's Over

The War's Over

Byfield's Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, and our communal "Thank You" to those who fought for us then and since, is recorded here in pictures...

The "advertising campaign", including the banner on The Green, the posters created by children of Byfield School and the "invitation" delivered to every house in the village...


The "Town Cryer" arriving in his "coach" after visiting every corner of the village, commanding all to "come to the Village Hall"... Our Cryer Tony, with his helpers Guy & Oliver, and their dad Simon's vintage 1935 Fordson Model N.


The "Poppy tunnel" entrance to the Village Hall created by our Group Scout Leader Helen and her team, and the "poppy path", individually made in clay, painted and fired by the children of Byfield School.


There were perambulations by people in period dress, the best of those were undoubtedly Helen and Elijah, and young Sophie, Guy and Oliver, all of whom really entered into the spirit of the occasion.


Inside, on the stage, Laurie's "trench tableaux" battlefield depiction, with "There but not there" silhouettes, one cross for every Byfield resident who has fallen in war and one for the "Unknown Soldier", together with a vintage Vickers' machine gun next to the tribute to Walter Smith MM of the 2nd Division of 2 Battalion Machine Gun Corps.


The Scout's had a Morse lamp and telegraph link across the hall... That's Skip Sally testing, and Charlie and Max on duty later.

                                         There were displays of books and photo albums about the period for visitors to peruse...

  There were tributes to our heroes on display...

    A simulation of a WW1 "dog fight" between aircraft, had prospective pilots queueing-up for a "go" at the enemy all afternoon.


Byfield School presented their work on World War One both by having their exercise books and essays on display and by hanging their artwork around the hall. In addition they gave recitations and sang songs of the period to entertain us. Also one youngster was allocated for each of Byfield's fallen who then read out that person's name, together with one positive thing that had occurred since that may not have happened if that person had not fought for us.


Throughout the afternoon Byfield's W I served tea, soft drinks, and home made cakes and biscuits; later in the afternoon, husbands of the W I opened a beer, wine and mulled wine bar. Later still Byfield School's P T A served bacon baps to keep us going.


There was a Tea Dance for old and young - the inbetweeners were a little hesitant...   AND there were memories resurrected, some sad ones too no doubt. Then Byfield's "Lost Chord" singers began, whilst still mingling with our visitors, enthralling young and old.

              You can see the Union Flags in evidence but Heather also knitted a poppy for each of our fallen, and we didn't forget other nations, their flags also formed the basis of a quiz held during the proceedings.


And whilst all this was going on, there was a mini cinema up the stairs alongside the stage showing a continuous stream of historical images from Byfield's 3,000 picture photo collection. It was also a good venue for unveiling Byfield's Memorial Bench, which will be placed on "Vera's Triangle" outside the church overlooking The Brightwell recreation ground.                             


And speaking of slide shows, Steve Dimmer rounded-off our afternoon with an audio/video presentation in the main hall, of images relating to and songs of that time, which triggered some community singing; song sheets were provided.


Then it was out onto The Brightwell, our recreation ground, to hear Paul sound The Last Post and Tony's Final Cry, watch Tim light the beacon and listen to the church bells ringing-out, as they would be doing across the nation. The Brightwell is so called because part of the land it occupies was gifted to the village in 1944 by Mr. Thomas Brightwell in memory of his son, who had been killed in action in the First World War. Those grounds have now been registered with Fields in Trust to keep for the village in perpetuity.


We must thank the boys from St. John's Ambulance, based in Daventry, who were on the scene just in case. And of course, there were the usual disclaimers inside and out that we all have to display these days...





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