Here listed are some of the centenary events that have already occurred in Essex.
- Friday 28 February. Chelmsford Museum Lecture: 1914 and all that by Ian Hook, curator of the Essex Regiment Museum. Booking is necessary.
- Jaywick Martello Tower’s Spring Talks are taking place in March and April. Four out of the eight talks have a WWI theme. Take a look at the Spring Talks 2014 Poster for dates and more information, or check out their website.
- Thursday 13 March. Not taking place in Essex, but anyone wanting to understand how to teach about the Great War in a school may wish to attend the Conference on Schools and the Great War Centenary at Westminster Central Hall, London. It’s primarily aimed at teachers. There is an amazing line of speakers including Michael Morpurgo (War Horse), Ian Hislop (The Wipers Times) and Jeremy Paxman (Great Britain’s Great War).
- Saturday 15 March, 2pm, Essex Book Festival: John-Stemple – The War Behind the Wire. The last untold story of WW1: the fortunes and fates 170,000 British Soldiers captured by the enemy. Using prisoners’ diaries, letters home and poetry – the death, life and above all, the glory of Britain’s warriors behind the wire is revealed. For it was in the PoW camps, far from the blasted trenches, that the true spirit of the Tommy was exemplified. Held at Jaywick Martello Tower. To book your ticket now ring 01206 573948 or book online.
- Monday 24 March, 7 – 8.30pm. Essex Book Festival: Louise Miller – A Fine Brother: the Life of Captain Flora Sandes. Englishwoman Flora Sandes was the only woman to serve as a soldier in the First World War. She became a hero and media sensation when she fought for the Serbian Army and pursued a distinguished career in its ranks as an officer. This account charts her incredible story, from her tomboyish Victorian childhood, to her mission to Serbia and her survival of a Gestapo prison during WWII. Held at the Essex Record Office. Tickets £7/£6. To book call 01206 573948 or book online
- Thursday 3 April, 10.30am-12.30pm. Discover: First World War records at ERO. Discover records at the ERO which tell fascinating stories about life at home and abroad during the First World War, and find out how to research names on war memorials. At Essex Record Office, Chelmsford. Tickets: £10.00. Please book in advance on 01245 244644
- Saturday 31 May, 10am-4.30pm. Loughton Festival 2014, Study Day: Understanding the First World War, at Lopping Hall, Loughton High Road. More information can be found on the blog post from January 2014.
- Wednesday 28 May, Make a Zeppelin. Make your own L33 Zeppelin airship like the model in our displays and learn about what happened the night it crashed. Ages 5+. £1 per child. Drop in 10am to 4pm. Essex Police Museum, Chelmsford CM2 6DN
- Saturday 31 May, Make a Medal. Look at our War and Police Medals displayed in the Museum and design and make your very own! All ages. £1 per child. Drop in 10am to 4pm. Essex Police Museum, Chelmsford CM2 6DN
- Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June, South Essex Armed Forces Day. Display of replica WWI aircraft from Stow Maries Aerodrome, held at Barleylands. You will need to book online. More information can be found on their Facebook event page.
- Saturday 21 June, 10.30am – 3.30pm. Join Epping Forest District Museum at Budworth Hall in Ongar for a World War One Heritage Event. Do you have any objects or memories relating to WW1? Bring them along on the day for the museum team to record. There will be a display by the Ongar Millennium Society and some family activities to take part in.
- Tuesday 1 July – Wednesday 16 July, Benfleet’s War 1914 – 1920 exhibition from Benfleet Community Archive, at Benfleet Library. See Benfleet’s War Exhibition Poster
- Friday 4 July, 8pm, Merry it was to laugh there at Chelmsford’s Cramphorn Theatre. Tickets and booking information on the Chelmsford Theatres website.
- Thursday 10 July – Sunday 7 September, The Great War: Home-life and Service During 1914-1918. A touring exhibition hosted by Jaywick Martello Tower.
- Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 July, Colchester Military Tournament. With WW1 re-enactors and the BBCs World War One at Home Roadshow.
- Wednesday 30 July, World War 1 Photo Shoot. Dress as police officer or Special Constable from World War 1 and have your black and white photo taken in our ‘studio’ set. Make your own frame whilst you wait for your print to develop. All ages welcome. £2 per photograph. Drop in 10am to 4pm. Essex Police Museum, Chelmsford CM2 6DN
- Saturday 26 July – 10 August, Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass exhibition. 2014 is the Centenary of the outbreak of World War 1 and our exhibition will show photos and give details of what life was like in Rayleigh 100 years ago. It will also tell the story of some of the Rayleigh men who fought in the conflict including those that did not return. Open every Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday during this period at Rayleigh Windmill (except Saturday 2 and Saturday 9 August when it is closed for private weddings). More information can be found on the Rayleigh History site.
- Continuing – Sunday 7 September, The Great War: Home-life and Service During 1914-1918. A touring exhibition hosted by Jaywick Martello Tower.
- Continuing – 10 August, Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass exhibition. 2014 is the Centenary of the outbreak of World War 1 and our exhibition will show photos and give details of what life was like in Rayleigh 100 years ago. It will also tell the story of some of the Rayleigh men who fought in the conflict including those that did not return. Open every Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday during this period at Rayleigh Windmill (except Saturday 2 and Saturday 9 August when it is closed for private weddings). More information can be found on the Rayleigh History site.
- 5 August – 19 December. Exhibition – ‘Braintree District at War – 1914-1918’. This exhibition will look at the impact of the First World War on the District, as well as the enormous contributions local people and industries made to the war effort, in particular the work of the East Anglian Munitions Committee and the factories of Crittalls and Lake and Elliot. At Braintree District Museum.
- Wednesday 6 August, 2.30pm-4.30pm. Discover: First World War records at ERO. Discover records at the ERO which tell fascinating stories about life at home and abroad during the First World War, and find out how to research names on war memorials. At Essex Record Office. Tickets: £10.00. Please book in advance on 01245 244644
- Saturday 16 August, 2.30pm. Guided walk of Braintree’s World War I sites. To coincide with our First World War exhibition Braintree District Museum is organizing a guided walk of Braintree, hosted by Mike Bardell, President of Braintree and Bocking Civic Society. Places can be booked through Braintree District Museum’s shop. Please call 01376 328868 or email email@example.com
- Friday 22 to Monday 25 August. Waltham Abbey four day WW1 exhibition. The exhibition will be at the Town Hall, Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey. The focus will be on the fact that the Town Hall served as a hospital during WW1. There will be a representation of a hospital ward, and a “Canteen”. There will also be a major photographic exhibition of the hospital, of local people such as munition workers, land girls, Essex Yeomanry, fire service, police, etc, memorabilia loaned by local families, WWI posters and a film. The exhibition has been successful in being awarded an HLF grant for the project. More information from: Tricia Gurnett, Chairman & Organizer, King Harold Day at Waltham Abbey. Joint Chairman Waltham Abbey Tourism Committee. Organizer, Waltham Abbey History & Heritage Festival. Tel: 01375 374786.
- Thursday 4 September, 2pm. Merry it was to Laugh There at Jaywick Martello Tower. An evocation of the First World War through poetry and diaries from the Front and those left at home. Tickets £7, concessions £5. To book call 01255 822783 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thursday 11 and Friday 12 September. Merry it was to Laugh There at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester. Call the Box Office: 01206 573948
- Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 September. Essex at War, 1914 – 1918. A weekend of activity for Heritage Open Days 2014, in Chelmsford. See the Essex Record Office blog for further information. The event on the sunday will also be the launch of the project exhibition. More information will be publicised nearer the date.
- Sunday 14 September. The Battle for Lilac Lawns. A family play to commemorate WW1 – inspired by a father’s letters, a young boy embarks on a First World War adventure. At Layer Marney Tower, near Colchester. To book tickets call: 01206 330784 Suitable for adults and children, tickets £7.50.
- Wednesday 17 September, 3pm. Talk: ‘Home and Away – Essex and the Great War’. A talk from Ian Hook of the Essex Regiment Museum, taking place at Braintree District Museum.
- Saturday 25 October. ‘Day of Commemoration’. This day of commemoration will include family activities, and the chance to take part in a guided walk of Braintree’s First World War sites. Specific events during the day will include interactive demonstrations and lectures with the support of the Colchester cadets, who will be modelling period uniforms and demonstrating the kits local soldiers would have carried with them to the front line. We will also be joined by Braintree Musical Society, who will be performing period music from the time, and visitors will also have a chance to take part in the singing. Held at Braintree District Museum.
- Wednesday 29 October, from 12noon – 3pm. Family Learning Event: First World War Epping Forest. The First World War broke out 100 years ago. Join us to commemorate this, with a series of enjoyable, interesting activities showing what life was like in and around Epping Forest at that time. Participants will make something on the theme to take home. A drop in event suitable for children and adults, at The View next to the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge, Rangers Road, Chingford. http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/eppingforest
- Thursday 6 November, Remembrance – the aftermath of the war, a talk by Malcolm Taylor. £3 a ticket includes light refreshments. 7.30 to 9pm. Booking essential. Call 01245 457150 or email email@example.com Essex Police Museum, Chelmsford CM2 6DN
- Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 November, Exhibition to commemorate The Great War at Galleywood Heritage Centre, Margaretting Road, CM2 8TR, from 10am to 4pm on both days. Free event.
- Events at The Forum, Southend in late summer and autumn 2014. Here is The Forum’s WW1 programme and More information about The Forum’s WW1 centenary events
- The Essex Western Front Association has prepared a number of talks in Hornchurch and Hatfield Peveral throughout 2014. Here is the Essex WFA Talks Programme 2014.
- New season at The Museum In The Park (Maldon Museum). From Sat 29 March to Sun 2 November 2014. On the ground floor, our display “Lest we Forget” is intended as a commemoration to mark the Centenary of the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914. Admission: Adults £2; Children 50p. Maldon Museum, 47 Mill Road, Maldon, Essex CM9 5HX. Open: Tuesday (school hols only and children 5-15 admitted free with paying adult), Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 2-5pm, Sunday & Bank Holiday Mondays 11am – 5 pm. Tel: 01621 842688 firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @maldonmuseum
- Saturday 2 August 2014 to Sunday 1 February 2015, North-West Essex at War exhibition at Saffron Walden Museum. ‘North-West Essex at War’ explores the impact of the two world wars on people in Uttlesford. From men and women working on the Home Front to protect their neighbours, to soldiers staying in the schools, houses and hospitals, and families waiting to hear news from the Front, this exhibition tells the stories of ordinary people whose lives were changed by the wars. These stories are told through a range of objects, including a baby’s gas mask, a sculpture created by a prisoner of war, uniforms worn by volunteers on the Home Front and personal letters and photographs. Leah Mellors, Collections Officer (Human History), said “It has been a privilege to uncover and share the personal stories of people in Uttlesford, who contributed so much to the war effort from home. Many of the objects in the exhibition have not been displayed before so this is an exciting chance to see something new”.