Snapshot of 1915 life in Great War tribute

Have your say

Villagers re-enacted what life was like in their community 100 years before in a special stage revue on Saturday night.

Hoby’s Great War told the story of how residents coped with life during the conflict between 1914 and 1918.

Around 150 people packed All Saints’ Church to enjoy the show, which featured stories, film, music, readings and poetry reflecting what life was like in Hoby a century ago.

The audience was transported back to 1915, when the village had two pubs, a butcher’s, a baker’s, a blacksmith, postal office and a school.

The young men had all left Hoby, having enlisted for service in the Great War.

The conflict was to claim the lives of 13 villagers.

The tragedy was portrayed by villagers acting the roles of actual characters who lived in Hoby at the time in a show described as funny, poignant and historically fascinating.

Tickets were free, thanks to the event being sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The show represented the start of a week of activities commemorating Hoby’s contribution to the Great War effort.

On Tuesday, a special Evensong service was held. followed by a muffled quarter peal of bells from the Society of Framland Ringers in memory of the first Hoby soldier to lose his life in the First World War, Private George Sharpe.

The tribute, which was exactly a century after the death of the serviceman, consisted of 1,260 changes of non-stop ringing, and lasted for about 45 minutes.

George Sharpe, whose parents lived at Sunnyside Cottage in the village, contracted tuberculosis two months after being posted to France to fight at the front.

The illness eventually killed him after he was brought home for treatment at a hospital in Lancashire.

The events are rounded off this weekend with a display of wartime photographs, recordings of letters sent home from war zones and other memorabilia.

The Forget Me Not Exhibition, from Saturday until Bank Holiday Monday, from 11am to 5pm, tells the stories of ancestors of today’s village residents and how they coped with the First World War.

Spokesperson Nicky Stephen said: “This poignant exhibition covers over 50 stories and photographs of the family members of current Hoby residents who served in the war in one capacity or another.

“Their stories paint a vivid and fascinating picture of life at home, at the front and of lives changed forever.”

Admission to the exhibition is free, with any donations going to The Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and Combat Stress.