THIS year is the centenary of the end of World War One and the Government has announced a series of commemorations to mark this important milestone. Announcing the events, the Government Culture Secretary said: “We will give thanks for peace and for those that returned, and remember the sacrifice of the 800,000 soldiers who died. This is the best tribute we can make.”

Here in Salisbury, the first time that a City War Memorial was officially suggested was at the February meeting of the Town Council in 1919, when Cllr. J.C. Hudson moved a resolution requesting the Mayor (then Cllr. J. Macklin) to convene a special Council meeting to consider what steps should be taken, “after consultation with the citizens, to commemorate the signing of Peace, and to provide a memorial worthy of the men of the city who sacrificed themselves or who suffered and served in the war.” This was agreed to, and the Mayor promptly announced in the Salisbury Journal that a public meeting of citizens would be held in the Council House. It was agreed at the meeting to arrange a historical pageant (involving Salisbury Schoolchildren) in celebration of peace and this passed off most successfully in the course of Summer 1919. With regard to the memorial, several suggestions were made by a large Salisbury public and it was decided to refer the suggestions to a War Memorial Committee.

The story of ‘Salisbury in the First World War – A Century of Memories’ will be told by four speakers as part of ‘A Festival of Salisbury History’ later this month. The event is in aid of the Poppy appeal.

  • Salisbury in the First World War’ Sunday 26th August 2018 - 1.30 - 6.00 pm. Tickets £7.00 available from The Information Centre, Fish Row and The History Bookshop, 98 Fisherton Street.