Milton Abbas Local History Group are planning a major WWI Exhibition from 5th – 7th October; being held across two locations, The Reading Room and opposite in St James Church, Milton Abbas. The focus will be the involvement of Milton Abbas people, those who served in the forces and the villagers left behind. The Royal British Legion will be in attendance and retired service personnel have contributed to the production and accuracy of the exhibition.
We will be encouraging the local schools to participate in the exhibition and think about the impact of war on society. The British Army Military Base and Tank Museum at Bovington, Lulworth Camp, Blandford Camp and the associated Royal Signals Museum and the Keep Military Museum, Dorchester are all within 20 miles of Milton Abbas and will be encouraged to join us and participate in the Exhibition.
The Reading Rooms will focus on the outbreak of war through to recruitment, training and life in the services. Our service men were predominantly in the Dorsetshire Regiments, but other regiments are represented, also the Navy, including HMS Victoria & Albert, the RAF and it’s precursors, and even the Cycle Brigade and tanks.
St James Church will be a place of quiet reflection and contemplation. The focus will be on the effects of war, on our men who served and their families; with displays on gassing in the trenches, shell shock and advancements made in medical treatment linked to our men who suffered serious trauma or death. We will trace their movements from injury to home and the impact on family life. Milton Abbas lost 21 men during the war; we will be detailing their lives, how and when they died and the impact on their families. This will be followed by a detailed commemoration book on permanent display in St James Church.
Our aim is to encourage and bring the local community, and those further afield, together to reflect on the impact of WWI, war in general and today’s Armed Forces; to enable this we will advertise this exhibition as widely as possible throughout Dorset and nationally.
The second of our exhibitions will take place just prior to, during and just after Remembrance Sunday. As always we will have a service on Remembrance Sunday and a standing officer will read out the names of those brave men from Milton Abbas who died in the first and second world wars. As the names are read out a small wooden cross is put by the war memorial. After the service an appropriate 1918 meal will be served. We will also have a concert on the Friday or Saturday before and relevant pictures will be projected onto one of the walls of the church. Appropriate music will be played The last shot might be of a field of poppies whilst the last post is played. Half of the money from the concert will be sent to a charity for our armed forces.