World War 1 Project
A series of 12 booklets covering various aspects of the war’s impact in and around Holmes Chapel can be found here
Pen portraits of the men who went to war
A pen portrait has been written for each of the 225 men who went to war. Some of these are detailed but in other cases we could find only limited information. They can be found here
World War 1 Exhibition
Click here for a video of the World War 1 Exhibition mounted by the group in August 2014.
Holmes Chapel's Commemoration of the Centenary of the Armistice which ended World War 1
The main focus of the commemoration of the Centenary of the Armistice was the WW1 Armistice Exhibition run by the Local History Group of Holmes Chapel & District U3A.
This exhibition took place over the three days of the Remembrance weekend in St Luke’s Hall Holmes Chapel. A team of 16 were involved from the History Group who carried out all the research and produced the content of the exhibition.
The first objective was to increase awareness of the impact of WW1 on the community of Holmes Chapel. The event was attended by 1530 people from a wide range of ages including school parties and young families.
The exhibits covered the experience of the village of Holmes Chapel during WW1 when 225 men went off to fight abroad. Activities such as the arrival of Belgian refugees, the impact on agriculture and the involvement of the community in volunteer activities such as nursing were all covered. The group also produced 12 booklets describing the various aspects of how the village was affected during and after this period.
The primary schools were invited to perform songs of the period and both schools attended. One group after their visit produced a thank you card which they brought along. There were reports of children going home and describing the event to their parents and bursting into tears because they understood so well what people had gone through.
Other musical groups were involved so the event was not just a historical description of events but was brought to life. Some full size cut outs of actual Holmes Chapel soldiers also brought home how young the people were who went to war.
There was a visitor’s book which was filled in by many people all saying very positive things about the exhibition. Visitors included Fiona Bruce the local MP, many members of the British Legion, members of the Parish Council and churches.
Other local groups including the WI, the U3A and St Luke’s Church provided tea and cakes. Any funds they raised were either used to support their cause or given to charities. The exhibition was free of charge to visitors but a bucket in support of the British Legion was provided for any donations and a total of £643 was contributed.
It was felt that the event was a great success in bringing the community together on this solemn occasion and also opening peoples's eyes to the local events which took place 100 years ago.
On Sunday there was the usual annual Rembrance day parade, service in St Luke's Church and two minutes silence at 11 am at the Cenotaph in the Church Yard.
Holmes Chapel itself was decorated with poppies both inside and outside the church, knitted and crocheted by ladies from the village. Click here for photos of the exhibition and around the village.
At 15:30 there was a closing ceremony for the exhibition which was followed by a full Peal of Bells arranged by St Luke's Church