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Role of Burton men to be honoured in Great War centenary plans

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

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TRIBUTES to those from Burton who fought in the First World War will be paid during four years of events to mark the conflict’s centenary.

East Staffordshire Borough Council will run a programme of themed events at Burton Town Hall, the Brewhouse arts centre and Meadowside Leisure Centre, as well as ‘story walks’ on the Washlands.

The borough council will work with East Staffordshire communities to run the commemorations alongside national, regional and local events.

Bernard Peters, the borough council’s deputy leader for service commissioning, said: “As an elected member, I feel it’s vital the council marks the centenary of the First World War by paying respect and providing many opportunities for the community to pay their tributes accordingly to the outstanding brave servicemen who fought on behalf of this country.

“The council’s plan will raise awareness of the Great War centenary across East Staffordshire through a series of events and activities.

“We are also encouraging local communities to develop their own plans and the council has set aside some funds to support activities and events.”

Stretton parish councillor Malcolm Goode has already outlined proposals for a ‘network of councils’ which would create links between grassroot authorities to honour those who fought in the war.

He said parish churches could replicate a vigil due to take place at Westminster Abbey on August 4, where a candle will be put out at 11pm – the time the British ultimatum to Germany expired 100 years before.

The historian said: “I would like to think that something in line with this could take place.

“There’s no reason why it could not happen in every parish church.”

He said other events could mark the period of mass volunteering which occurred immediately after war was declared, the role of women and the 1914 Christmas Truce – which men from Burton were involved in.

Mr Goode added that 48 men from Burton died between August 4 and December 31, 1914, in fighting at Mons and Ypres, and near the River Aisne and Marne.

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