Peace Collective releases Christmas Truce single ‘All Together Now’

Well-known musicians have joined forces with young footballers from the UK and Germany to create a single that recalls the Christmas Truce of 1914.

The song – a version of All Together Now by The Farm – is sung by the Peace Collective and features youngsters from Premier League and Bundesliga Clubs who appear in its video wearing their football shirts.

The song was originally written to tell the tale of the 1914 Christmas Truce, when British and German troops laid down their arms and may have played football in no man’s land.

Proceeds to charity

Among the artists appearing on the record are: Alexandra Burke, Gorgon City, Gabrielle, The Proclaimers, Engelbert Humperdinck and members of The Farm themselves.

All profits from the release will go to the British Red Cross and the Shorncliffe Trust.

Peter Hooton, lead singer of The Farm, said on Facebook: ‘It [the Christmas Truce] is a story of hope and peace which should be told over and over again.

‘I’m so very proud that so many artistes from all styles of music and the football authorities have come together to promote peace and reconciliation this Christmas and raise funds for the brilliant work carried out by the British Red Cross and Shorncliffe Trust.’

To hear the song, click here.

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Archeologists investigate WW1 Norfolk airbase

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Archeologists have conducted a preliminary survey of one of England’s more important First World War airfields.

Members of the West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Archaeology Society have investigated the site of Royal Flying Corps base at Narborough.

The airbase opened in 1916. It’s aim was to protect the east coast of England from Zeppelin attacks and it later became a training centre for pilots destined for the Western Front.

Artefacts recoved so far include chunks of brass and copper, which had been lathed, pottery and glass.

Using old photographs of the site, the team worked out where the mess buildings and workshops had been. Fragments of white porcelain were found on the site of the officer’s mess.

Some items were stamped with the crests of the Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Flying Corps.

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Duke of Edinburgh opens First World War exhibition

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The Duke of Edinburgh has opened the new permanent First World War exhibition at the Royal Air Force Museum in north London.

Entitled The First World War in the Air, the exhibition focuses on the often overlooked role of air power during the First World War through the stories of the men and women who were involved in the conflict.

Authentic surroundings

It is set in a Grade II listed building that was used as an aircraft factory in the First World War. The exhibition uses these surroundings and the RAF Museum’s collection of aircraft, documents, film and photographs to reveal how aviation changed the character of war.

Karen Whitting, director of public programmes at the Royal Air Force Museum, said: ‘It was a pleasure and an honour to have the Museum’s Royal Patron The Duke of Edinburgh, open this landmark exhibition.

‘The Museum looks forward to sharing this incredible story with both local visitors and audiences from across the globe. It is particularly fitting that we mark this anniversary in the approach to 2018, the centenary of the founding of the Royal Air Force.’

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Experiences of airmen and workers

Designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, the exhibition explores what it was like to be involved in the earliest days of military aviation through the story of Britain’s air services, the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. These two organisations merged on 1 April 1918 to become the world’s first independent air force, the Royal Air Force.

Displays incorporate the experiences of pilots, ground crew and factory workers to help tell the story. A linked online resource includes the digitisation of and wider public access to historical documents such as First World War Casualty Cards, Casualty Forms and Muster Rolls, that tell the story of the men and women of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force.

These can be accessed at www.rafmuseumstoryvault.com

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WW1 posters on show at Ulster Museum

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The Ulster Museum in Belfast is currently running an exhibition focused on the posters of the First World War.

Entitled Answer the Call, the exhibition covers the development of such artworks throughout the conflict.

Curator of history for National Museums Northern Ireland Dr Vivienne Pollock said the exhibition tracks a change in tone and method as the war progressed: ‘The exhibition was curated to reflect the fascinating shifts in approach during the war. In 1914, the enlistment campaigns appealed to patriotic and moral values as well as a sense of adventure. As the war continued, these public appeals increased in their sense of urgency and their methods became more varied and sophisticated.’

Voluntary Enlistment Collection Ulster Museum

Pollock added: ‘The exhibition features some very recognisable posters as well as lesser-known ones aimed specifically at Irish audiences. Answer the Call shows the messages Britain wanted to communicate during the war period, from appeals to volunteer for the army to calls for financial assistance and support for the wounded. The varying styles were designed to appeal to a range of groups and classes of people.’

At the start of the war, text-based posters were used to encourage enlistment but it was not until October 1914 that a more eye-catching national campaign was set in motion.

By the end of 1915, 89,000 Irishmen had joined the British Army, with numbers equally split between Ulster and the rest of Ireland, and between Catholic and Protestant, Nationalist and Unionist.

By 1918, 200,000 volunteers and conscripts had been recruited in Ireland. Volunteering declined during 1915 and conscription was introduced in Britain in January 1916.

Answer the Call is part of National Museums Northern Ireland’s series of events and exhibitions to mark the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Admission is free and it will run at the Ulster Museum until May 2015.

www.nmni.com

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Tower of London poppy designer shares feelings

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Designer Tom Piper, who laid out the Tower of London poppy memorial, has spoken of his surprise and emotion at the public’s response to the artwork.

Emotional moment

He said: ‘It was a wonderful thing to see it finished. I found it very moving. To think one poppy is one life and to see the sheer numbers that are there is still emotionally draining.

‘It’s rather amazing and humbling that it has been taken to heart by the public. It’s allowed people to personally connect with Remembrance Day and the scale of the losses has been brought to people’s attention.’

Thousands of volunteers will now remove the 888,246 poppies, created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins and arranged by Piper in the Tower of London’s moat.

Poppies tour the UK

Two elements of the memorial – the Weeping Window cascade of poppies from a window and a group entitled the Wave, will remain until the end of the month. The two huge poppy structures will then tour the UK for four years before being installed at the Imperial War Museums in London and Manchester.

Piper added: ‘The removal of the poppies was for me always part of the theatre. The tide has reached full flow today and now it is ebbing again. For the next two weeks the public will be able to watch them taken away.’

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Largest First World War archeological dig under way in Belgium

A project to lay a new pipeline through an area that was once part of the Western Front is yielding a large number of archeological finds.

As Belgian energy company Fluxys works to put the pipeline in place, archeologists are taking the opportunity to take part in the largest-ever excavation of First World War battlefields.

Reports state that every day they are finding a range of items from regimental badges, to discarded weapons, to remains of uniforms and helmets.

The hope is that the Belgian government will donate the finds to a museum – perhaps creating a new collection that provides an insight – 100 years on – into the realities of the Western Front

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Exeter Rugby Club remembers First World War soldiers

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Twelve former Exeter Rugby Club players and officials are to be remembered with a new commemorative plaque at Sandy Park – home of the Exeter Chiefs Premiership Rugby team.

A special memorial service will take place at the stadium on Tuesday 11 November at 10.30am.

Missing First World War casualties

For years, Exeter Rugby Club has displayed a plaque commemorating members who lost their lives in the Second World War.

Research by local historian and club supporter Roy Hough has unearthed a further 12 men associated with the Devon club who never returned from the battlefields of the First World War.

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, said: ‘For some time we have displayed a plaque remembering those former players that died during the Second World War. However, we’ve since been made aware that there were also a number of old players and club officials who were killed during the First World War.

‘The fact these people were not remembered anywhere at the club needed to be addressed, so I immediately commissioned a new plaque – on behalf of the club membership – to be produced and hung alongside that of those who died during the Second World War.

Names remembered

Among those listed on the memorial are the following.

36-year-old lieutenant William Goff (MC), of the 7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who was killed on 22 April 1918.

Private Geoffrey Culverwell, of 1st/4th Battalion the Devonshire Regiment, who died on 10 June 1916 and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial in Iraq.

Major John Veitch (MC) of 1st Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment, who was killed on 21 May 1918 and is buried at Thiennes British Cemetery in France.

Second-lieutenant CE Tudor-Jones of the East Lancashire Regiment and the Royal Flying Corps. A former reservist with the 7th Battalion Devon Regiment, he died in December 1915.

Lieutenant SE Hucklebridge of 21st Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, who died on 19 March 1919 and is buried at La Louvière town cemetery in France.

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