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First World War Commemorative Event Weekend (25th & 26th April 2015)

The commemorative events programme featured talks, interpretive displays illustrating the research work carried out by project volunteers and stands from the Woodhorn Trust First World War Project and the North East War Memorials Project,. There were also opportunities for visitors to handle artefacts with historical interpreters ‘Time Bandits’ and the ‘Lowland Jocks’.

The series of talks in the Town Hall Council Chamber ranged from ‘What a soldier carries in his pack’ to ‘Flies and Gallipoli – the personal perspective’.

Silent film footage from the period was shown in the Old Gaol Cells on the upper floor of the Town Hall, presented by ‘Times Past’, and Lowick Heritage Group presented an imaginative radio-style playlet set around the story of the Belgian refugees who came to the Berwick area in 1914.

Throughout the weekend, re-enactors from the ‘Lowland Jocks’, ‘Time Bandits’ and the ‘Durham Pals’ staged interactive living history scenes and drill demonstrations in front of the Town Hall and on the Barracks Square. A recruiting party from the ‘Lowland Jocks’ gave instructions in foot and rifle drill to volunteers of all ages drafted from the audience.

The King’s Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum was open to the public at times during the event.

Each day during the weekend, members of the Maltings Youth Theatre staged a series of three scenes based on the records of the tribunals held in the town during World War One. The tribunals involved the cases of men seeking exemption from military service on the grounds of their doing work of national importance, business or domestic hardship, medical fitness or conscientious objection. The audiences were able to judge their own outcomes of the cases based on the evidence.

1915 Newspaper-style Commemorative Event Programme