Performances to remember Areley Kings war heroes

WAR HERO: The story of Gunner John Rogers, known to his family as Jack, who died at the Battle of Passchendaele, will feature in the performances.

WAR HERO: The story of Gunner John Rogers, known to his family as Jack, who died at the Battle of Passchendaele, will feature in the performances.

First published in News Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A WYRE Forest community will commemorate its role in the First World War in an interactive way.

More than twenty children and adults from Areley Kings will honour the village’s fallen war heroes through two live performances of music, songs and words at St Bartholomew’s Church.

The bloody conflict claimed the lives of 14 men from the village and their stories are remembered in the evening events.

Mary Arden-Davis, who wrote the script, said: “The conflict affected the whole of Areley Kings in a significant way.

“Young men, who really did think they would be home by Christmas, ended up dying while serving their country, Worcestershire and the village.

“Our current community really wanted to pay tribute to those who never returned and the idea for the performance was born."

Mrs Arden-Davis, a former star of The Archers radio show who played the character Pru Forrest, used the parish magazine to research the village’s Great War past and was also helped by local history enthusiast Eric Halsall.

She added the performances will feature “some bits that are funny and other parts that are very sad” and will “make the audience both laugh and cry”.

The shows, which have been supported by the Areley Kings Players theatre group, will include projections of period photographs, extracts of letters from the frontline and the tale of the women of Areley Kings sending 24 large cakes to their loved-ones fighting in France.

Tickets for the events, which will take place on Thursday, October 16 and Friday, October 17 at 7pm, cost £7.50 and can be purchased from Mrs Arden-Davis on 01299 871477 or Ian Gwillam on 01299 825791.

The price includes a slice of cake, souvenir programme, drink and attendance at the post-performance firework display, and money raised will be donated to a number of military charities.

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