Posts Tagged ‘Belgium’

Market Lavington, Easterton and the First World War

March 13, 2013

Next year, 2014, it will be 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. This occasion is being marked up and down the country and we, in Market Lavington, will have our own part to play in it.

Apart from our own local lads who went away to fight – and some of them never returned – our area was also a place where soldiers from the empire trained and were billeted. We have several photographs of Canadians and Australians in the area, and a part of our village is known as Canada because of the solders from that dominion who were encamped in the area.

Wiltshire’s Great War Centenary Group are holding a meeting on 21st March at Devizes School. We have booked a table but this event – and more importantly the events to mark the occasion – could involve a wide range of community organisations.

If you would like to be involved then the person to contact is Tim Burge of the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre based in Chippenham.

One of the items we have at our museum is a handkerchief, sent back by a Market Lavington lad to his loved one. Slightly oddly, it is a souvenir of Ypres which we’d have thought people might have wanted to forget!

Souvenir of Ypres handkerchief sent to Market Lavington during World War I

Souvenir of Ypres handkerchief sent to Market Lavington during World War I

The machine embroidered image is of Les Halles in Ypres. Ypres, of course, is a town in the French speaking part of Belgium.

The image shows up much better if you can get the light behind it.

The image on the handkerchief

The image on the handkerchief

It may seem odd looking ahead to 2014 when we haven’t yet opened for the 2013 season, but if you have any first world war memorabilia that you may be able to let us use for 2014 displays, do get in touch. Remember, we only want Market Lavington or Easterton items.