280 reasons for 
re-enactment to remember WW1

Latest community news from the Newmarket Journal, newmarketjournal.co.uk, @nktjournal on Twitter
Latest community news from the Newmarket Journal, newmarketjournal.co.uk, @nktjournal on Twitter

Organisers of a special village reenactment to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War would still like to hear from residents about their ancestors who enlisted to fight.

Exning has a unique record of all those men who joined up and fought in the Great War. Their names are recorded on two illuminated Rolls of Honour, discovered in the bell tower St Martin’s Church four years ago, restored and now displayed in the church.

For each of the 280 men they contain the name, rank, regiment, marital status and street where they lived.

Next month the village is planning the Exning Enlistment Re-enactment (EER) during which it is hoped family members of those men, the current residents of their homes, or neighbours, will walk from their homes to Exning primary school where they will sign a book, much as the men enlisting signed from August 1914 onwards.

Organiser sand village resident John Saville, said ”It was clear that many places would be commemorating the First World War this year and, as the developer of several websites for the village, I was aware of the rolls. I felt that each year we commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice but this year it would be appropriate to also remember all those who took part in the war, many of whom returned with physical or mental injuries.

“We would love to hear from anybody with an interest in this project and in particular any relations of the original enlisters, those living in their homes, or nearby.

“We will welcome participation by people of any age, or either gender, whether they live in a home that existed in 1914 or later.

As well as the enlistment signing, there will also be an exhibition with photos and other memorabilia.

Exning Parish Council chairman Roger Stubbs said: ”This is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to work together and to both honour those brave men and understand, in part, what it was like to enlist in the First World War, or see one’s loved ones going away.”

Mr Saville can be contacted on 01638 604246 or go to EER pages on the village website (http://www.exning.net/roh.html)