June 19, 2014
Burnham-On-Sea prepares to mark the centenary of World War 1

A series of events is to be held in Burnham-On-Sea to mark the centenary of the First World War this summer.

Members of Burnham's St Andrews Church are busily preparing to mark the centenary of the WW1.

The church will be marking the outbreak of war with a number of activities for the whole community during the first weekend of August.

On Saturday 2nd August there will be an evening of songs and war poetry, ending with a brief act of Commendation.

"During the event we hope to tell some of the stories of those who went to the frontline from Burnham," says Reverend Graham Witts.

"The Church holds a list of those from Burnham who served in WW1 along with a list of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. However, all we have is a list of initials and surnames and little or no information to go on. If anyone has information about the Burnham ‘Tommies’ that they would be willing to share in the public domain I would be grateful to hear from them."

On Sunday 3rd August at 3.00pm there will also be a civic service for the whole community that will culminate in the planting of a tree to mark the occasion and 81 crosses being placed at the base of the tree to represent those local heroes from Burnham who gave their lives in the carnage of World War One.

The actual outbreak of war falls on 4th August and this will be marked by the laying of a wreath at the War Memorial Hospital.

It is also hoped to have an exhibition of artefacts in the church during that week.

A group of local people, pictured, has recrently returned from a visit to the World War one sites.

Reverend Graham Witts said: "It was highly moving to see the line upon line rows of graves and to think about the terrors they faced on a daily basis."

"It would be wonderful to be able to share something of the lives and personalities of those for whom we only have initials and a surname – it will root our commemoration in the real lives of the characters involved."

Readers can contact Rev Witts at

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