The men and women of Herefordshire made a huge contribution to the war effort during the First World War in a variety of ways.
Young men were recruited into the Herefordshire Light Infantry, which expanded to three battalions during this time, landing in Suvla Bay in Gallipoli in August 1915 before transferring to the Western Front in 1918. Hereford Cathedral will unveil a new plaque honouring soldier Allan Leonard Lewis, the only Herefordshire-born recipient of the Victoria Cross. Lewis was killed in September 1918, aged 23.The Victoria Cross was presented to his parents by H.M King George V at Buckingham Palace in April 1919.
Shells were produced at the Rotherwas Munitions Factory, which saw an influx of thousands of women – known as the Canary Girls – into the county. Shell filling began on 11 November 1916. Herefordshire also provided horses for the front, known as ‘remounts’, as well as providing food supplies for the nation and the front from farms across the rural county.
We are very lucky in Hereford to welcome Poppies: Weeping Window to Hereford Cathedral – the first location of the Poppies Tour this year. It is part of the final year of 14-18 NOW’s (WW1 Centenary Art Commissions) UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies. The cascade of thousands of individual ceramic poppies is here until 29 April 2018.
The presentations by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, give people across the UK the chance to experience the impact of the ceramic poppy sculptures in a range of places of particular First World War resonance.
There are an array of events organised for the Homefront Campaign and it is well worth visiting the special Hereford Cathedral events page to find out where and when the events are.