TODAY marks the centenary of Britain entering the First World War and across the weekend commemorative events were held.
In Stratton yesterday, more than 200 people turned out for the dedication of the new peace memorial, which cost £35,000, at the corner of Grange Drive and Ermin Street.
The service included readings from several ministers across the town as well as members of Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, which was responsible for the memorial’s installation.
John Foley, chairman of the parish council, said: “This is something we have been trying for for over 20 years.
“Cost has always been the barrier to this going forward, but after a sizeable donation from Barratt Homes, we were able to take it forward.
“This is a landmark day for the parish. We have been trying to bring something to the parish, some landmark monument for some time.
“It might be a controversial design, but it will go on to be a place of reflection for people and a centrepiece for the parish.
“A tremendous amount of work by the clergy, parish council staff and councillors has gone into this.”
The Royal British Legion and Swindon Sea Cadet Corps were in attendance at the event also.
Meanwhile on Saturday, a new exhibition on the Great War began at Purton Museum.
A range of artefacts connected with the village and the war are on show for the public to see, including a new display which lists the names and pictures of those soldiers from Purton who fought in the Great War.
Brian Freegard, collection administrator at the museum, said: “We put a note out to the people of the parish, seeking any artefacts they might have and didn’t get a great response initially. But, as the date grew nearer, more and more artefacts were being brought forward. We all thought we had to do something because it’s a big event, a game changer for the world.”
In Purton yesterday, there was also a commemoration service at St Mary’s Church.
At St Peter’s Church in Penhill this evening there will be a service to mark the centenary from 6.30pm.
Also, at Christ Church in Old Town, a service will begin tonight at 7.30pm.