YOUNG and old of a village will unite to mark the start of the First World War during a weekend of commemorations.
Wingate’s Holy Trinity Church is joining forces with local schools to host three days of honouring the centenary of the Great War.
The events take place from Friday, June 27, to Sunday, June 29, to mark the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the catalyst for the conflict’s outbreak.
Around 60 children from Wellfield Community School, Wingate Junior School, Wingate Infants School and St Mary’s RCVA Primary School, are taking part.
On the Friday, from 6.30pm, The Youth of Today Remember will see performances from school choirs, poems, displays and refreshments.
On the Saturday, from 10.30am-3.30pm, there will be displays, memorabilia, a memorial window and a plaque on show, with felt poppies available to place in the Rememberance Garden.
At 6.30pm that day, Hartlepool’s Mum’s The Word choir will sing songs from the era, with refreshments available.
And on the Sunday, there will be a Service of Commemoration, at 7pm, led by the Bishop of Jarrow, the Right Reverend Mark Bryant, and Reverend Alan Stainsby.
Inside the church are two First World War memorials, a brass plaque containing 149 names of Wingate’s war-dead, and a stained glass window.
In the graveyard is a War Grave Commission site with graves of Douglas Forster, who died in 1918, Robert William Harrison, (1916) and G White, (1919).
Also on show will be a display dedicated to Thomas Kenny, of South Wingate, who was awarded the Victoria Cross during the Great War, while parts of the church will be made to look like trenches.
Sybil Walker, who is a Holy Trinity Church warden, along with Doris Binks, said: “The weekend’s really for the ones who lost their lives.
“It’s important that we all remember the sacrifice they made, and I think it’s important to commemorate what they did.”
Church members have been busy making around 300 felt poppies, which can be placed in the Remembrance Garden across the weekend.
Anyone who can provide details on the war dead who are featured on the church’s plaque can call Mrs Walker on (01429) 837753.