WWI Centenary: A Community Remembers

In the week of Remembrance Sunday, St Michael’s Garston hosted an exhibition to tell the story of how church and community worked together during WW1.

The parish made their commemoration uniquely personal by telling stories of the four servicemen who died in 1914, and asking the congregation for family stories of those who died, and who survived.

Volunteers have begun to research all of the 227 men who are commemorated on the Garston war memorial, creating family trees for relations who are still in the area.

As 1914 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, and no surviving soldiers remain, the aim is to ensure that the memorial and the memories of those it honours, are preserved for future generations in Garston.

The exhibition also included a replica of a trench from which soldiers would have gone into battle. Children from two local junior schools visited, to listen to stories of what life was like in the trenches and at home in wartime, and to handle artefacts from the period.

John Davies, Reader at St Michael’s said: ‘It's been a journey of discovery for our small dedicated team. Our most engaging thing has been a slideshow with music, showing details of all of the servicemen on the memorial, as it is such an emotional experience for everyone watching it.’

He added, ‘We’d like other churches to know that it is possible for them to do something similar with some hard work and dedication.’

To find out more contact John Davies: johnjmech@yahoo.co.uk