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First World War marked as town looks at its past

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THE 100th anniversary of the First World War was commemorated by people of all ages on Saturday.

Worthing Pier hosted a parading brass band and street theatre from the Southwick Players, complete with period costume and Lewis and Vickers machine guns displayed by The Royal Sussex.

Shoreham Fort provided outdoor displays to gain public interaction and interest while raising some funds for Queen Alexander Hospital Home with several rifle drill practice.

Historian Chris Hare guided visitors along a World War One time line along the pier which had the names of all the Worthing soldiers who died on it.

People also had the chance to take a look in a temporary recruitment office.

After live music performances, Richard Attenborough’s 1969 film, Oh! What A Lovely War was screened in the Pavilion Theatre.

Organised by Peter Lovett of On Location Films, the film features the elite of 60s British theatre, with the majority of it set on the Brighton West Pier which has since been mostly destroyed.

Mr Hare said: “I spent the morning giving talks about Worthing in the build up to the war and the afternoon taking people through the time line.

“The weather was not good at all but that was appropriate really, considering that this is a commemoration not a celebration, and it is a tragedy that we were remembering not a gallant thing. At the Battle of the Somme alone there were a huge number of Worthing soldiers killed.

“The film showing was excellent, and 45 years later is still very powerful.”

 

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