Years of research culminate in Great War exhibition

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Cheddington’s Great War exhibition was held at the Methodist Church on Remembrance Sunday, after the 11am War Memorial commemoration.

The display was put together by Cheddington History Society based on many years research by the archivist Marlene Lee and the chairman John T Smith. A tribute to the 20 men who gave their lives in the war was presented by Mary Glendinning and Jean Fulton. A VAD Nurse’s uniform was made by Linda Smith, who also had on display some items of food that were known to the Tommies in the trenches: Trench Cake, Tiffin and ANZAC biscuits.

Displays featured many personal stories – some 123 men served in that war, each with a story to tell.

Mr Smith said: “It is frustrating that, with the passage of time, we don’t know of all their experiences.

“There are details for most of all those who were lost. Sadly one of the last casualties, Charles Mason, died of his wounds on died of his wounds on November 7, 1918, but the Leighton Buzzard Observer tells us that his parents did not find out until the day after the Armistice when the village would have been celebrating and expecting to see their men back home soon.”

More than 250 people came to the exhibition and on the Monday morning classes of children from Cheddington Combined School visited with their stacks of questions and observations. The exhibition raised over £100 for Help the Heroes.

In the evening the history society showed the 1916 film The Battle of the Somme – an official government release with battle scenes and casualties shown. Mr Smith said: “In the first six weeks over 20 million tickets were sold, and for many people this would have been the first moving picture they would have seen.”