8 ways to celebrate the centenary of World War I in Gloucestershire

The centenary of the end of World War I is being marked with poignant remembrance events across Gloucestershire this November 2018. See where you can show your respect and get involved in this historic occasion.

Remembering the fallen from across Gloucestershire and the world, Sunday 11 November 2018 is a very special date in the calendar – with this year’s remembrance Sunday also commemorating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice agreement, which marked the end of fighting in World War I.

In our latest hotlist, sponsored by Cheltenham Racecourse we round up eight of the most memorable ways to commemorate the Centenary of World War I in Gloucestershire.

For more information about Cheltenham Racecourse visit cheltenham.co.uk directly.


1. The November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse


Taking place across the weekend of Friday 16 to Sunday 18 November 2018, The November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse is considered one of the major highlights of the British racing calendar.

This year, to mark the centenary of World War I, the Sunday will feature a march of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars soldiers dressed in traditional uniform, a special Cheltenham steam train arriving with a contingent of Glorious Glosters on board, and a range of World War I themed activities inside The Centaur – including a field hospital and the Jet Age Museum.

For more information see The November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse.


2. Visit the GCHQ Poppyfall at Gloucester Cathedral


Handmade by GCHQ staff and friends, the giant waterfall of poppies is on display at Gloucester Cathedral throughout November to mark the centenary of World War I.

Taking pride of place in the cathedral’s lady chapel, the installation is in place from Wednesday 17 October until Monday 26 November 2018.

For more see GCHQ Poppyfall at Gloucester Cathedral


3. Watch an enormous memorial film at the Municipal Offices


A special film about World War I created with help from Cheltenham Borough Council, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham BID, The Heritage Lottery Fund and the public art panel, will be projected onto the side of the town’s Municipal Offices on Sunday 11 November 2018.

The huge projection – bigger than four IMAX cinema screens, will light up the building, situated behind the town’s war memorial, with regular screenings from 5pm until 8pm.

The 15-minute film will depict various aspects of World War I, and highlight the sacrifices made by men and women from across Gloucestershire and the country. For more see World War I cinematic performance at Cheltenham Municipal Offices


4. Enjoy the parade in Gloucester


This traditional celebration begins with an open-air memorial service at Gloucester’s Cenotaph, before a veteran’s parade makes its way through the city centre towards Gloucester Cathedral.

All veterans are invited to take part in the parade by meeting at the muster point to the rear of Gloucester library. It will be led by the Salvation Army band.

For more see Remembrance Sunday parade at Gloucester Park


5. Remember the fallen students


Join staff and students from the University of Gloucestershire as they celebrate the centenary with a special installation in the Francis Close Hall campus chapel.

All are welcome to look at the 264 poppies, hand crocheted by staff and former students, to remember each of the students from the University’s predecessor colleges, who lost their lives in the First World War.

The moving display is open to all during the week, and a special ‘Remembering Together’ service takes place in the chapel on Friday 9 November 2018 at 12.30pm.

For more see Crocheted poppy display at University of Gloucestershire


6. Remember the 8,000 fallen


Take a moment to reflect inside the glorious setting of Gloucester Cathedral, as the names of 8,000 people from war memorials around Gloucestershire are read out during a day of reflection in the cathedral’s Lady Chapel.

Taking place on Friday 9 November 2018, the remembrance service runs throughout the day until each name has been read out.

The cathedral’s tower will also be lit red for remembrance from Monday 5 November to Friday 16 November 2018. For more see Remembering the Gloucestershire Fallen at Gloucester Cathedral


7. Remember with a trip to the theatre


Showcasing a range of beautifully performed songs, scenes and poetry, Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre is hosting a performance of A Hundred Years On.

The performance is led by Pam Ayres and will see choirs, actors and brass bands commemorate the centenary in true musical style.

What’s more, tickets to the event are free for all retired and active members of the armed forces. For more information and to book tickets see A Hundred Years On.


8. Take in an exhibition at The Wilson


This fascinating exhibition takes place within the Open Archive inside Cheltenham’s The Wilson art gallery.

Showcasing a series of letters, diaries and paintings, At last fighting is over is a collection curated by The Wilson Collections, The Cheltenham Local History Society, The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum and Cheltenham Ladies’ College.

It’s on display until March 2019, but will be particularly poignant to visit during the remembrance period this November.

For more see At last fighting is over exhibition at The Wilson


Additional events added since publication


Be part of The Human Poppy


Organised by the team at Cirencester’s The Barn Theatre, The Human Poppy invites people from the town and the surrounding areas to form a huge poppy, visible from above.

Aiming to create the UK’s largest Human Poppy in recognition of the soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, the event will take place on Sunday 11 November 2018 in Cirencester’s Market Place.

For more information see The Barn Theatre’s Human Poppy in Cirencester.


By Melissa Hamblett

© SoGlos
Friday 02 November 2018

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