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Events and activities commemorating Swindon's role in the 1914-1918 war


Swindon played an incredible part in the Great War, and the people of Swindon want to commemorate that role, and the individuals involved, with the respect and honour they deserve. Below is a list of some of the events that are happening. If you have other events you wish to be publicised here, please do get in touch.

  • Saturday August  2nd 2014- 31st Dec 2015 Exhibition at STEAM “A Railway at War - the role of the GWR and its employees during WW1” looks at the role the GWR took in World War One.  From munitions work, to specialist carriages, the GWR built a multitude of items for the war effort.  The exhibition also looks at how GWR employees were affected by war, not only the men who went to fight, but also the men and women who were left behind and continued to be employed by the company in many different guises.  A range of never seen before material and objects will be on display.  Free with standard admission.
  • Monday August 4th - 5.30 to 7pm Launch of book about Swindon in the Great War - Swindon: Remembering 1914-1918 by Mike Pringle, published by The History Press.
  • Monday August 4th - Vigil at St Bartholomew’s Church RWB . Candles will be extinguished at 11pm, to represent the comment attributed to Foreign Secretary Viscount Edward Grey on the eve of the Great War: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”.
  • Monday August 4th - Exhibition opens at Royal Wootton Bassett Museum, in the Town Hall. Exhibition will feature a mock trench, photographs and memorabilia.
  • Monday August 4th - 6.30pm Bob Lloyd will be holding a walk & talk event relating to Purton's Great War. Check for details of this and other events relating to Purton.
  • Wednesday 6th August - 1pm Opening of exhibition "Swindon in the Great War - One Town's War", in Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Bath Road. Packed with photos, documents, objects and information relating to Swindon during 1914-1918, the exhibition runs from 6th August 2014 to 31st January 2015. Free entry.
  • Friday August 8th - 7pm A special screening of Stephen Spielberg’s WAR HORSE, on the Big Screen, Wharf Green. Tickets are free, but please register by emailing with the subject War Horse& the number of tickets you require. Bring a picnic and seating, and enjoy the film in true alfresco style. Spaces on first come first serve basis. Over 12s only.
  • Saturday August 9th - 11am to 4pm inSwindon BID Company along with the Brunel Shopping Centre and Swindon in the Great War will be turning Swindon town centre in to a place of celebration and commemoration for the Great War. Free activities include a traditional street party in Wharf Green with music and dance through the last hundred years, Great War films on the Big Screen, Bread making the old fashioned way in Theatre Square, World War I British Army recruitment stand with weapons, posters, equipment and accessories for 1914 in the Parade, large inflatables in Canal Walk and climbing wall (free to try) in Havelock Street. Inside the Brunel there will be an exhibition by local history societies plus Memory Wall, gaint poppy mural and poppy bombs. For the Street Party there will be marquees & picnic tables - free to use but book to make sure of a place - email with the subject Street Party.
  • Sunday August 17th - 10.30am to 4pm. Swindon in the Great War Exhibition in Radnor Street Cemetery - local historical societies gather to remember the Great War - guided cemetery walks at 11am and 2pm.

  • Sunday September 7th Purton PADS street theatre event - The Purton PADS group will be holding a street theatre event at various locations through the Village. At the Village hall there will be refreshments and information stands regarding the Great war, the Purton museum also plans to be open on this date. Details:
  • Wednesday September 10th -7.15pm‘Life in the Trenches’ talk & enactment by WW1 historian Steve Williams. Central Library, Regent Circus. Details: 01793 463238
  • Thursday September 11th - 6.30pm ‘Heroes’ Adaptation of French play by Tom Stoppard, with supper included.
    Boswell’s Café, lower level The Arcade, Brunel Shopping Centre. Details and tickets available from Boswell’s Café and The Centre Management Suite, 29 The Plaza.
  • Wednesday 17th September ‘A talk on World War One Poets’ by Lynda Warren. Central Library, Regent Circus Details: 01793 463238
  • Friday 19th September ‘Twelve Ten Fifteen’ tells the heroic and tragic story of Edith Cavell. Swindon Arts Centre, Devizes Road Details: 01793 524481
  • Wednesday 24th to Saturday 27th September Phoenix Players’ performance of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’. Swindon Arts Centre, Devizes Road Details: 07517 698083

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