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Great War comes to life for children

A special lesson for the children Credit: AWE

The Great War came to life for children at Aldermaston Primary School when they hand-wrote the names of local men you died. They will be used in a ‘Centenary Plaque’, commissioned by the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

With the help of David Whithorn, an AWE Historian and Great War expert, the children learned about what it would have been like for soldiers of that era, before hand-writing the names of 44 local men.

Dressed in a Royal Berkshire Regiment dress uniform from the period, David brought history to life for the year 6 pupils who took part in the special task.

Family honour: Pilot heroes from two World Wars

Son and father - Willie and William Rhodes-Moorhouse Credit: W.B. Rhodes-Moorhouse VC Charitable Trust

Friday July 10 marks 75 years since the Battle of Britain, the decisive air battle of 1940 which kept this country and Europe free.

For more than three months the RAF fought in the skies above Southern England against Luftwaffe fighters attempting to establish air superiority over Britain and pave the way for a Nazi invasion.

Victory came thanks to 3,000 or so young pilots and air crew who became immortalised as The Few. In all 544 lost their lives, including Flight Lieutenant Willie Rhodes-Moorhouse from Dorset.

The family cemetery in Dorset Credit: ITV Meridian

Willie was killed when his Hurricane crash-landed near Tunbridge Wells in Kent in September 1940, just days after he received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

His death had great poignancy because his father - also William - was also killed as a pilot in combat, and was also honoured for his bravery.

In fact William Rhodes-Moorhouse, who died during the Great War in 1915, was the first aviator to receive the Victoria Cross, the highest military honour for gallantry.

Derek Johnson speaks to relative William Cavendish Credit: ITV Meridian

ITV Meridian reporter Derek Johnson has traced the story of the father and son whose stories reflect the tragedy many families endured in both World Wars.

In this piece he speaks to: William Cavendish, William's great nephew and Douglas Beazer from Beaminster Museum.

We also hear from Lord Ashcroft whose ''passion for bravery'' in his words has lead him to collect Victoria Crosses. He owns William Rhodes-Moorhouse’s VC and it is among his 190-strong collection now on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.


Celebrating centenary year of Great War on stage

Video. A school in Sussex is making the centenary year of the First World War in a very special way. Students at the Burgess School for Girls have written a musical about the assassin blamed for starting the war.

Malcolm Shaw spoke to some of the cast and directors, including Michael Dunk, who plays Gavrilo Princip, Directors of the production Lily Williams, Amy Scott and Beth King and Polly Beaumont who plays Ana Obrenovic.

Hampshire MP helping to co-ordinate WW1 anniversary events

Culture Secretary Maria Miller, who is the MP for Basingstoke, has asked Hugh Robertson MP, a former Army officer, and Andrew Murrison, the Prime Minister's special representative, to form the ministerial team focusing on the programme

Mr Robertson also commanded The Household Cavalry on the 1993 Queen's Birthday Parade and the State Opening of Parliament. A Government source said: "We are keen to ensure that this is a centenary programme that the country can come together on.

Plans unveiled for World War 1 centenary

It is understood the Government is in talks with various churches, faiths and other organisations to see if the vigil could be replicated around the country.

Organisers hope churches, town halls and other community buildings will mirror proceedings at the Abbey and that thousands of candles will be blown out simultaneously across the country at 11pm.

They also want the day to be inclusive, with all generations and communities getting involved.

It is believed that a wide range of groups will be invited to the Westminster vigil including the Brownies, Scouts, Guides and representatives from all services of the British military.