AMBITIOUS plans to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War in Swadlincote have been revealed.
A host of events are set to take place in the town next year to commemorate the anniversary, with preparations already in their early stages.
The town is set to be taken over by First World War relics and memorabilia to remember the millions of people who died during the conflict.
An open air service is expected to be the event’s showpiece, with The Delph being put forward as a possible staging area.
Exhibitions will also be on display at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum and The Magic Attic, while members of the Royal British Legion are set to visit schools in the run up to the anniversary.
Plans have also been revealed to refresh all council-owned war memorials across South Derbyshire and to enclose them with poppies, while a restoration project at Eureka Park will see paths renamed and flowers planted to create a First World War commemoration image.
Cycle routes and themed walks are also set to be organised.
Dates for the events have not yet been formalised, but are expected to take place next September.
Alan Webster, chairman of the Repton Village Society and member of the village’s history group, said remembering the fallen became even more important as the years passed.
He said: “It needs to be remembered because of the colossal sacrifices that millions of people made. I think it’s fortunate that it seems that the younger generation is becoming more and more aware of the sacrifices that were made, people are taking trips to cemeteries and are affected by what they see.
“Anything that is done to help that memory stay alive is important because it affected the world and the lives of very many families in the country.
“I’m 79 and my father fought in the First World War. It’s something that affected millions of families and it is important that it is not forgotten.”
A South Derbyshire District Council report on the plans said: “The 100 year anniversary since the outbreak of the First World War should be commemorated in a way that recognises the sacrifice made by local people, along with raising awareness among the current population of that period in history and the role played by South Derbyshire.
“The First World War commemorations provide the community of South Derbyshire an ideal opportunity to come together around a variety of projects and events, which support local empowerment and wellbeing.”
South Derbyshire’s MP Heather Wheeler said: “The list of projects to commemorate the First World War next summer are absolutely superb and I applaud the district council, the Swadlincote Tourist Information Centre, the Royal British Legion, the Air Training Corp and the Magic Attic for being so forward thinking.
“It whets the appetite for what I know will be an amazing summer of events.”