More than three hundred Wolverhampton schoolchildren will join war veterans and serving soldiers to march through the city centre on Friday (NOV 9).
Youngsters from primary and secondary schools will take part in the parade through Dudley Street – the city’s main shopping street.
Led by a group of veterans, the children will march alongside serving armed forces personnel from the army, navy and RAF before taking part in a public remembrance service in St Peter’s Square outside St Peter’s Church.
Each child will be carrying a poppy on which they will have written the name of someone from Wolverhampton who died during the First World War.
The event is part of ‘Wolverhampton Remembers’ – a programme of activity to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
The parade will set off from Dudley Street just outside the Wulfrun Shopping Centre at 10.30am, through Queen Square and into St Peter’s Square where a public outside service will then take place at the cenotaph.
The service will be attended by Mayor of the City of Wolverhampton, Cllr Phil Page, and led by the Rector of Wolverhampton, Rev David Wright.
At the service, children who won a competition to write a letter home imagining they were in the trenches on the Western Front, will read out their work.
The outdoor service will then be followed by a private service inside St Peter’s Church where more letter competition winners will read out their entries and Wolverhampton Central Youth Theatre will perform two pieces with a First World War theme.
Mayor of the City of Wolverhampton, Cllr Phil Page, said: “It is absolutely vital that our young people learn about the enormous sacrifice that previous generations made for us.
“This is why we organised this service for our city’s schoolchildren to be able to play an active part in our programme of remembrance for this very special 100th anniversary year of the end of the First World War.”
Cllr Linda Leach, chairwoman of Wolverhampton Remembrance Committee, said: “It will be an incredibly moving sight to see our young people, all holding poppies with the name of someone from Wolverhampton who died during the First World War, marching through our city centre alongside serving armed forces personnel and veterans.
“I hope lots of people come out to watch this poignant and special event.
“It will be the precursor to our main remembrance event two days later on the Sunday. I think it is wonderful that our young people are getting involved in honouring the sacrifice of the fallen.”
City of Wolverhampton Council has organised a programme of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. These include creating an updated roll of honour, currently on display in the Civic Centre, which features the names of previously ‘forgotten’ victims of the conflict who have never appeared on any public memorial before.
Silent soldier silhouettes have also been placed across the city, as well as memorial benches and lamppost poppies.
The city’s two First World War Victoria Cross winners have been honoured with the unveiling of two memorial stones.