On display at Stonehenge

Market Lavington Museum has now closed for the winter (except by arrangement with the curator, of course) but we are delighted that some of our artefacts are now on display at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre. This building, which opened a year ago, is the point of arrival for all visitors to Wiltshire’s famous stone circle and other associated archaeological sites. It is situated on Salisbury Plain where vast numbers of soldiers from Britain, the Empire and other allied countries were trained prior to going to Europe to fight in what we now call the First World War. It is this military use of the Salisbury Plain area that is ‘celebrated’ in the ‘Soldiers at Stonehenge’ exhibition. Market Lavington and Easterton were very much involved in the training and temporary homing of soldiers and we are pleased to be represented at this display

Photography will not normally be permitted at this exhibition but we were granted an exemption to photograph our items.

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Our Valcartier medallion has featured before (as an exhibit at Market Lavington) on this blog but we were moved, here, to see it alongside exhibits from the Imperial War Museum.

The backs of display cabinets are lined with a variety of images from First World War days.

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Across the bottom we have the lovely photo of Market Lavington Market Place in full swing as a Red Cross fund raising market in 1915. Our local WW1 group plan to recreate this event in 2015. The top right photo shows Norman Neate, landlord of the Brewery Tap on White Street with two Canadian soldiers. The top left photo is not a Market Lavington one.

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This poster has appeared on this blog before – but the name of Market Lavington is now ‘in lights’ at one of the most iconic tourist sites in the world.

We were invited to the official opening of this display which also incorporated a brief commemoration ceremony at the stones. This was a moving and dramatic occasion.

It was dark and Stonehenge was floodlit.

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Some of the stones had images of marching First World War soldiers projected onto them.

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The famous verse by Robert Binyon was read and then two buglers emerged from behind one of the stones to play The Last Post.

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The two minute silence which followed was a deeply moving occasion.

We’d urge one and all to visit the Stonehenge exhibition. The good news is that members of English Heritage or The National Trust get free admission.

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