Villagers remember the Great War years

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A village is to commemorate its contribution to the First World War with a series of events this month.

All Saints’ Church will host the activities at Hoby a century after the conflict claimed the lives of 13 villagers.

It all starts with a theatrical review entitled Hoby’s Great War on Saturday May 16.

The audience will be transported to the Hoby of 1915, when the village had two pubs, a butcher’s, a baker’s, a blacksmith, postal services and a busy school.

Many of the men enlisted for service on the Western Front and this will be reflected in the performance.

Local village characters from the time will also be portrayed, in a play which is billed as funny, poignant and historically fascinating.

The show starts at 7.30pm and ends at around 9.45pm.

Tickets are free, thanks to sponsorship by the Heritage Lottery Fund, but they should be reserved through Diane Horsfield, on email via or by telephone on 01664 434422. A bar is available for refreshments.

The following Monday will see an Evensong service being conducted with muffled quarter peal bells in honour of Private George Henry Sharpe, who died exactly 100 years before during the Great War.

A quarter peal, which is only rung to mark a significant event, consists of 1,260 changes of non-stop ringing and takes about 45 minutes to complete.

George Sharpe, whose parents lived at Sunnyside Cottage in the village, was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

He had been posted to France on November 29, 1914, and within two months he contracted tuberculosis, which was rife in the trenches among the French Army

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

The activities are rounded off over the Bank Holiday weekend of May 23 to 25 with an exhbition telling the stories of ancestors of present day villagers who fought in the First World War.

Several items are about people who were kept in German prisoner of war camps and one concerns a poignant letter sent by a German soldier to a Hoby parent explaining how their son had died.

The display will include photographs of memorabilia and recordings of letters sent home.

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