Great War soldiers honoured by community group

Great War soldiers honoured by community group

Great War soldiers honoured by community group

First published in Devon

SILVERTON is honouring soldiers from the village who fought in the First World War with a specially-written musical revue.

The unique work, titled Trenches and Wenches, tells the story of men from the mid Devon village who went to fight in France and Belgium and marks the centenary of the start of the conflict.

Although concentrating on the soldiers' heroic efforts and sometimes tragic tales, it will also reveal what life was like for the women left behind without their menfolk through specially-composed and traditional wartime songs.

The show is being staged at the Silverton Community Hall, off Wyndham Road, by the Silverton Luvvies group later this month.

Director Portia Smith, who co-wrote the revue with her team and professional writer Iain Gonoude, said performances will be moving and poignant, but with humour reflecting life in the trenches.

Interesting wartime facts and day-to-day living conditions will also be revealed through newspaper articles of the day.

She said: “It is very much a unique piece of work. We hope it pays tribute to the sacrifice of not just the men but families who had to cope in Devon, often in very difficult circumstances.

“Our songs and words have been specially written by the team and the revue promises to be an entertaining and thought-provoking event for Devon to mark the centenary of the war. We will be encouraging the audience to join in with the singing.”

Performances will be staged from February 20 to 22 at 7.30pm.

There will also be a matinee show at 2.30pm on February 22.

Tickets, on the door or by calling 01392 861082, are £5 for adults and £2 for children.

There is a special £15 ticket for the Thursday night and matinee shows for two adults and up to three children.

A bar will be available before and during the interval thanks to support from local brewery Exe Valley.

The village researched the lives and sacrifice of six soldiers from the area for the revue.

They are: 33161 Lance-Corporal William John Rookes, 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment 11362 Private Leonard Rookes, Devonshire Regiment Private Charles William Sutton 33188, 8th (Service Battalion) Private John Llewellyn Combeer 7932, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment James Anley, Pte. 6809, 1st Battalion Private William Way Pye 7662, 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment The men did not all originate from Silverton village, but possibly from Bradninch, Thorverton or the surrounding area, and likewise living relatives may also be residing elsewhere.

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