Ashford Remembers: Commemorating the end of the First World War
Since 2014 and the 100th Anniversary of the start of the First World War, Ashford Borough Council has been dedicated to hosting and facilitating a number of commemorative events to remember and honour the bravery of those who fought, lived and died during this momentous event.
On the 4 August 2014, REME held a Dawn to Dusk Guard of Honour at Ashford’s Mark IV tank to signal 100 years since the outbreak of war and in November 2017, the town hosted a service of commemoration at the tank to mark the centenary of the Battle of Cambrai.
The council is working closely with a wide range of organisations to mark the centenary of the First World War (WW1) including remembrance services, theatre and creative performances and educational programmes.
The 100th Anniversary of the Armistice
On November 11 2018, it will be the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, which signalled the end of the conflict. Ashford Borough Council will be staging many events throughout this final year of commemorations, focusing on the theme of peace and reconciliation and the sacrifice made by those overseas and on the home front, both nationally and locally.
Battles Over: A Nation's Tribute
11 November 2018
On Sunday 11 November, Ashford will be taking part in the national commemorative event, Battle's Over: A Nation's Tribute. As well as a service of remembrance in the Memorial Gardens at 11am and the lighting of the Civic Beacon at 7pm, Ashford will also be unveiling its pièce de résistance: a beautiful poppy tribute in North Park (adjacent to the Civic Centre).
Ashford's Poppy Tribute
Taking inspiration from the hugely popular 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' poppy installation at the Tower of London in 2014, sculptured metal poppies will be planted to create a stunning visual display and an overnight military guard of honour will be held.
Residents are being offered the opportunity to purchase the poppies that will be planted and, if they wish, collect them after the event to keep as a permanent reminder of the historic occasion. Each poppy will cost £6, with a minimum of £1.50 of each sale being donated to the Kent branch of SSAFA - The Armed Forces charity.
Up to five poppies can be purchased in any one transaction and are being sold on a first come, first served basis. Purchases can be made here. Entering an email address during the purchase process will allow you to receive an automated email notification for your order; please bring a copy of this with you when you collect. If you do not enter an email address, you will need to make a note of your order number and present this at the point of collection.
As stocks are limited, please order early or you may miss out on this opportunity to be part of this very special tribute.
We have a dedicated email address for any questions you may have – contact us at AshfordRemembers@ashford.gov.uk. Do check back here, too, in the weeks leading up to the 11 November, for further event information.
Terms and Conditions
- Poppies cost £6 each.
- A minimum of £1.50 of each sale will be donated to the Kent branch of SSAFA - The Armed Forces charity.
- Up to five poppies can be purchased in any one transaction, but please be aware that once all the poppies are sold no more will be available – be quick to avoid missing out!
- Proof of purchase will be required on collection.
- Time slots for collection will be in the mornings and afternoons between 12-16 Nov from the Civic Centre.
- Details of the event and Guard of Honour are subject to change. Amendments will be announced via the council’s social media channels.
Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace 14-18
3 - 30 June 2018, Ashford Memorial Gardens, TN23 1RD
During the month of June, Ashford Memorial Gardens proudly played host to the internationally acclaimed Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace 14-18 photographic exhibition by renowned photographer Michael St Maur Sheil. This powerful and moving open-air exhibition tells of the healed scars of the First World War through our only remain witnesses: the fields of battle themselves. For more information about the exhibition, please visit the Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace 14-18 website.
The exhibition, staged in the peaceful and tranquil setting of Ashford’s Memorial Gardens, also included inspirational Ashford stories and photographs. These are based around the themes of increasing mechanisation, the role of women and the part played by our rural communities and give an insight into the sacrifices made by so many Ashford individuals both overseas and on the home front. These panels are currently on display in Ashford's Park Mall Shopping Centre.
Victoria Cross Paving Stone Ceremony
Thursday 9 August 2018
On Thursday 9 August 2018 a commemorative paving stone was unveiled in the village of Charing to mark the 100th anniversary of Corporal Frederick George Coppins’ Victoria Cross award.
Frederick was serving with the 8th Canadian Battalion, 90th Winnipeg Rifles, when the award was given in recognition of his actions on the 9 August 1918 in Amiens, France, when he single-handedly took out a machine gun position that was annihilating his platoon, saving the lives of many men.
The paving stone was unveiled by Brigadier- General Lowell Thomas OMM CD, Defence Advisor at the High Commission of Canada, accompanied by Her Majesty’s Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent and Mr Arthur Coppins, Nephew to Corporal Coppins.