Posted on Nov 21, 2018 in Editorial.
I have run community projects in Aldershot for the past four years bringing the local community together to appreciate the military heritage of Aldershot town. Everything since I started has been geared towards this year being the centenary of the end of the First World War.
I created a project for the making of a documentary called WAR TOWN, which looks at the British army history, military architecture, sports in the military and the civilian stories, all set in the small town of Aldershot between 1914–1918.
The EDGE Project runs workshops to train young people in employability and key skills within the film and media industry. The focus of all our subjects is the fact they are all connected to life stories. Eighteen students helped film the footage for the film documentary.
The WAR TOWN documentary looks at how the British Army was formed before, during and after the Great War, and how the army developed over the decades to become what we know as the HM Armed Forces. Many of the functions which started in the army between 1914–1918 are still active today, such as the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, which continues to be housed in the Fox Gym in Aldershot; the cross-country run traditionally takes place every year and the annual inter-services boxing tournaments are held with the same trophies and plaques to be won as always. Sports in the military that were officially registered with the Army Sport Control Board in 1918 remain ever present, offering continued support to the army sportsmen and women taking part in them.
I find it fascinating that so much has changed over the past 100 years, but even more interesting is looking at what has remained the same.
It was an absolute honour and privilege to attend the Remembrance Sunday and Thanksgiving Service at Westminster Abbey on Sunday, 11th November 2018. It is a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
The premiere showing of WAR TOWN took place at the Royal Army Physical Training Corps on Wednesday, 7th November 2018. It was a red-carpet event, which LifeBook was pleased to support through its connection to life stories and its ethos of keeping history alive. There were also three screenings of the film at the Aldershot Library and Learning Centre.