WWI commemoration event at Oakwell Hall and Red House

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Exciting battle reenactments and a military camp will thrill Oakwell Hall and Red House visitors during a free First World War commemoration event.

Your Country Needs You goes ahead on Sunday, with light cavalry displays by the Lancashire Hussars closing the show. The Friends of Oakwell Hall and the Friends of Red House have joined forces to organise the event after chairwoman of the latter, Jacqueline Ryder, came up with the idea.

It is the first time such an event has been held at either place and the Mayor of Kirklees, Coun Paul Kane, will open proceedings.

Jacqueline Ryder, chairwoman of the Friends of Red House, said: “This is a great opportunity to have a glimpse of what life was like in 1915, when the army was still relying on voluntary recruits.

“There was also plenty of voluntary activity going on at home, which is probably not as well known.”

Activities at Oakwell centre around the a military camp, and Red House represented the home front.

People can step up to find out if the army would have enlisted them in 1915.

Visitors will also be able what was happening in the Gomersal and Birstall area 100 years ago and look at displays of medals and memorabilia.

The World War One commemoration group Project Bugle are to play their part, manning a ‘war room’ which will include an exhibition about soldiers from Birstall.

Roger Knights, chairman of the Friends of Oakwell, said: “We’re very pleased to co-operate with the Friends of Red House and are looking forward to what promises to be a spectacular event.”

Roger and Jacqueline thanked Eric Brown, heritage manager for Red House and Oakwell, and his staff, for encouraging and supporting the Friends groups with the project.

The events in Nutter Lane, Birstall, and Oxford Road, Gomersal, last from 1pm-4.30pm.