North Somerset remembers

A number of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 are taking place in North Somerset culminating in remembrance services across the district on Sunday 11 November.

Here is a flavour of what’s happening. There are many other acts of remembrance taking place in local communities. Check your local town and parish council website for more about what’s going on in your area.

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

Money raised through the Poppy Appeal goes directly to The Royal British Legion’s work providing support to anyone currently serving in the British Armed Forces, who has previously served, and their families.

This Poppy Appeal The Royal British Legion is leading the nation in saying ‘thank you’ to the First World War generation who ‘served, sacrificed and changed our world’.

You can view the ‘thank you film’ on the Royal British Legion website.

Look out for poppy sellers near you. The Royal British Legion in Weston has a poppy pop-up shop in Waterloo Street selling all sorts of poppy items. Wear your poppy with pride.

Legacy of Light

On Saturday 10 November at 6pm, as a lead-in to the next day’s commemorations, communities across North Somerset are being invited to join together in a tribute called ‘Legacy of Light’.

Town and parish councils, churches and other faith groups, veterans and service organisations, youth groups and community groups across North Somerset are being encouraged to join together at the same time and light a tea light candle in memory of the fallen of WW1.

You may wish to make your tribute more elaborate and add a few words, readings or poems. You might consider something more involved, such as drama and music, or indeed just keep the tribute a simple gesture of lighting a flame in a united remembrance of their sacrifice.

If you have an event already organised perhaps ‘Legacy of Light’ could form part of your existing event and North Somerset as a whole can come together in a spirit of commemoration and reflection.


Sunday 11 November

All over the country pipers will play ‘The Battle’s Over’ at 6am to mark the Armistice signed in 1918 as a tribute to all those killed in WW1. The pipers involved will play the melody through twice on Wains Hill, Clevedon.

At an open air service at the Triangle at 10.45am a named poppy will be placed to mark those from Clevedon who didn’t come home.

The remembrance participants will gather on Salthouse Fields at 2.30pm and parade to St Andrew’s Church.


Saturday 10 November

An indoor street party in Congresbury Memorial Hall will include entertainment by Appleshed (inclusive theatre group), a bring and share tea and a singalong of war songs.

Sunday 11 November

Service in St Andrew’s Church at 10am followed by an act of remembrance at the Memorial Hall at 11am.


Saturday 10 November

A ‘Legacy of Light’ celebration is taking place at 6pm in the car park at Hutton Village Hall. People who wish to participate are invited to bring along a tea light to be lit at 6pm to help remember all those who gave their lives during the 1914-18 conflict.

If you would like to take part please meet in the car park in plenty of time (no cars will be allowed in the car park for the ceremony). A short service of remembrance and prayers will be said during the event.

Tea and coffee will be available after the ceremony in the main hall.


Saturday 10 November

A ‘Legacy of Light’ WW1 Centenary Commemoration will take place at Kewstoke Village Green at 7pm.

1st Kewstoke Cubs have been researching the 33 men from Kewstoke who fell during the Great War and are recorded on the War Memorial in St Paul’s Church. During the ceremony their names will be read out and the cubs will light a candle and place a poppy on a cross for each of them.

Kingston Seymour

Saturday 10 November

Historical tours and church teas (pm), a period dinner and ‘Legacy of Light’ celebration.

Sunday 11 November

Wreath laying and act of remembrance and coastal beacon lighting.

All complemented by remembrance decorations in the village, including a ceramic poppy waterfall.

Long Ashton

Events will take place to remember the 300 servicemen from the parish who answered the call for King and country in WW1, and the 65 who did not come home.

Friday 9 November

Annual Royal British Legion remembrance concert at All Saints Church, 7.30pm.

Saturday 10 November

At 8am the Union Flag will be unfurled at the Royal British Legion flagpole, opposite the Old School, where many of the servicemen were taught. There will be a poppy trail in the churchyard, highlighting the 24 military and war graves, including the family graves with memorials to the fallen of the parish buried overseas.

Sunday 11 November

The village remembrance day parade. The Royal British Legion, Scouts, Guides and others will leave the Community Centre, Keedwell Hill at 9.50am and march to All Saints Church for the remembrance day service. Senior military officers from the village will lay poppy wreaths on the war graves in the churchyard, and the Polish Consul Emeritus will lay a wreath at the Polish memorial to the crew of a Free Polish Air Force Halifax Bomber which crashed in the field next to the church on 21 November, 1944 whilst returning from a mission.

At 6pm a Drumhead service will be held at the Village Recreation Ground in Peel Park and will feature Avonmouth Sea Cadets Corps of Drums and Clevedon Brass Band. Long Ashton Church and local school choirs will join visitors and residents for this event. Long Ashton Scouts and Guides will lay wreaths on the hill to commemorate each of the 100 Long Ashton residents killed in service and a wreath will also be laid to the only civilians killed in the village in the war when Mill Cottages were bombed. This will be followed by The Last Post and two minutes silence.

At 7pm the village beacon will be lit as part of the national chain of beacons. Church bells throughout the country will peal at 7.05pm to remember the 1,400 bell ringers killed in action in WW1, including two from Long Ashton – Charles Butler and Harry Fisher.


Sunday 4 November

At 3.30pm at Somerset Hall there will be a concert to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ending of WWI. Local historian Sandy Tebbutt will give an illustrated talk and the Portishead Players will perform songs and poems. Tea and cakes will be served. Tickets available to buy at Morgan Westley and the town council office at the Folk Hall.

There will be a memorial trail from 11am-1pm. You can purchase a trail card which will guide you round numerous Portishead memorials. You’ll receive a stamp in your card for each one and your completed card will be entered in the concert raffle.

Sunday 11 November

Portishead Town Council will be jointly hosting a World War 1 beacon of light tribute with Portishead Scouts at Battery Point, Esplanade Road at 6.30pm.

The Portishead Book of Remembrance has been created by the town council as part of its observance of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of 1918. Its aim is to remember those who lost their lives either as a result of hostilities or in public service, whether military or civilian, from 1914 to the present.


The parish council has been working on a special commemoration event. There will be a cascade of poppies at the church, ‘In memory’ cards have been produced and people are adding the names of loved ones who fought and/or gave their lives in the war. These will be displayed on noticeboards in the church porch.

At the act of remembrance on Sunday 11 November there will be a number of poems and readings while poppy petals fall.


Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 November

‘Uphill Remembers’ – an exhibition at the Victory Hall recalling the village during World War 1 and those from it who served their country – 10am-4pm (3pm Sunday) and 6.30pm-8.30pm Thursday.

Friday 9 November

Act of remembrance involving pupils from local schools at the cannon site, Uphill Way, 10am.

Saturday 10 November

Lighting of candle for peace at the cannon site, Uphill Way, 6pm.

Centenary concert at St Nicholas Church performed by Weston Light Orchestra, 7.30pm.

Sunday 11 November

At 6am a piper at Uphill Tower will begin the day’s commemorations with the traditional Scottish lament played at the end of battle.

11am – service of remembrance at the village war memorial.

6.55pm – The Last Post is played at Uphill Tower, followed by the lighting of the beacon of light and the ringing of the bells at the old church of St Nicholas in celebration of peace.


Saturday 10 November

‘Legacy of Light’ event will take place in the Italian Gardens at 6pm.

The event is open to everyone and will involve Weston College students who will be presenting their thoughts of WW1 through music, songs and dance, followed by a short period of reflection with poems and stories.

This will culminate in the lighting of 415 tea light candles, one each to represent each serviceman from Weston who lost their life in WW1.

Members of the public are invited to join in and, if they wish, light candles in memory of family members they have lost or, indeed, to give thanks for those who survived.

Sunday 11 November

Remembrance parade and service in Grove Park

The parade will assemble in Weston High Street near the Italian Gardens before marching to Grove Park.

The service will begin at 10.50am with a poem by Anthony Keyes called ‘Scarlet Silence’, accompanied by a World War 1 violin played by Toby Mitchell.

The violin and bow has only been played once after 100 years had passed since the outbreak of the First World War. It will be played for only the second time by Toby Mitchell, aged 16, of Weston Youth Orchestra. The restored original violin belonged to Herbert Fenton Byrne, a violinist and musician who performed at dances in Bristol prior to the outbreak of WW1.

Herbert was one of the many who did not return home and is buried in France after becoming a fatality while in action during the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. Herbert’s great nephew is Anthony Keyes, who is reciting his poem. Herbert’s sister was married to Anthony’s grandfather who lived in Weston and organised the Grove Park VE and VJ parades in 1945.

The 415 members of the Scouts and Guides Associations will be assembled either side of the war memorial as a visual representation of the sacrifice the community of Weston-super-Mare made in World War 1. Each young person will carry a wooden cross bearing the name of a serviceman from Weston who fell in the Great War. Before they depart from the memorial they will plant the crosses to leave an individual memorial for each of the fallen.

Their leaders will be carrying and planting 25 wooden crosses. The crosses are inscribed with the names of the conflicts that have taken place since World War 1 up to the present day in which British service personnel have been killed.

The remembrance service will follow with two minutes silence, prayers, the laying of wreaths, a hymn and psalms.

The Weston branch of The Royal British Legion will be providing a large screen in Grove Park so everyone can see the events taking place around the war memorial.

And for the first time the service will be streamed live on the internet via YouTube.

Search for ‘Weston-super-Mare remembrance service 2018’ on YouTube.

Pages of the Sea

Weston-super-Mare will be part of ‘Pages of the Sea’, Danny Boyle’s commission for 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of Armistice Day. The public is invited to gather on beaches across the UK for an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

Millions of people served in the war and many left from beaches around the UK. Theatre Orchard, with the support of the Grand Pier, will be leading events at Weston beach.

Each event centres around the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, which will be washed away as the tide comes in. In addition, the public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.

Poet Carol Ann Duffy has been invited by Boyle to write a new poem, which will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather on beaches. Copies of the poem will be available online and at the beaches around the UK for those who wish to come together or to offer their own personal contribution.

Winscombe and Sandford

Thursday 8 November

‘Stories from the Residents’ – a varied selection of short talks by local residents about family members, or an artefact that they own from World War 1 – St James’s Church Hall, 7pm.

Saturday 10 November

Old Time Music Hall with songs from the period of World War 1 – St James’s Church Hall, 2.30pm and 6.30pm.

Sunday 11 November

Services of remembrance will take place at All Saints Church (10.20am), Lynch Chapel (10.30am) and St James’s Church (10.50am).

4pm – ‘Lights for Peace’ at WW1 graves and war memorial at St James’s Church.

‘Lights for Peace’ across the parish. Everyone is invited to put an LED light in the front window of their home.

‘Ringing out for Peace’ – the bells of St James’s.

Wednesday 14 November

‘No Petticoats Here’ with Louise Jordan – St James’s Church Hall, 8pm.


Saturday 3 November

Sponsored lunch at Yatton Rugby Club as fundraiser for the Poppy Appeal.

Friday 9 November

Short service at Rock Road Memorial with Yatton school children at 11am.

Saturday 10 November

Walk around the war memorials in the village at St Mary’s Village Hall and Rock Road at 2pm.

At 4pm the Methodist Church is holding ‘A Time to Remember’ tribute to the heroes of WW1 with readings, prayers, music, extracts from war diaries and written accounts from the front.

Sunday 11 November

Memorial service in St Mary’s Church at 10am followed by walk up to Rock Road for a service and two minutes silence at 11am.

Centenary fields

Weston Woods and Battery Point in Portishead have been designated as Centenary Fields to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. Dedication services took place at both locations during October.

The Centenary Fields programme protects parks, playing fields and other recreational spaces in perpetuity as a living remembrance to those who fought and lost their lives in World War 1.

Nationally, the Fields in Trust charity, working in partnership with The Royal British Legion, has nominated 100 open spaces to be classified as Centenary Fields.

During the war 80 per cent of the trees at Weston Woods were felled for military use. With its wide-ranging views across the mouth of the Estuary, Battery Point was both a look out and an area of defence. It was manned by Devon and Cornwall Fire Command, supported by No.2 Heavy Battery Devon Royal Garrison Artillery who were based at the nearby Royal Hotel.