Ampthill Town Council to mark First World War with new funding

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Ampthill Town Council has received a £5,400 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project, Tommy’s Footprints, based in Ampthill Great Park and Cooper’s Hill.

Awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will focus on commemorating Ampthill’s First World War Heritage.

To mark the Centenary of the First World War and Ampthill’s part in that war, we are planning to hold a community-wide commemoration event on Remembrance Sunday 2016 that will include a procession from the First World War Memorial in Ampthill to the Cenotaph at the end of the Alameda.

The procession will follow a set of 707 stencilled footprints that symbolise the 707 soldiers that passed through the training camp in Ampthill Park and went to war never to return.

With the help of school children at Alameda Middle School the lives of those 707 soldiers are being researched.

There will be both a digital legacy in terms of research being published on the Tommy’s Footprints website and it will form the basis of information displayed on interpretation boards by both war memorials.

Councillor Mark Smith said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and we were pleased to whole-heartedly support and help develop.

“It really has evolved into a fantastic community event. that commemorates the war.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, East of England, said: “This project will uncover the stories of Ampthill’s soldiers and share them with the wider public through a unique commemoration event on Remembrance Day.

“It’s thanks to National Lottery players that we can support projects like this to help more and more people learn about the First World War heritage of their local community.”