Remember soldiers during Wrest Park’s wartime commemoration

Wrest at War
Wrest at War

A bank holiday campaign is being held to remember soldiers treated at a military hospital in Silsoe.

Visitors to English Heritage’s Wrest at War event on Sunday, May 27 and Monday, May 28 May will be asked to decorate 1,600 pairs of footprints, one for each patient, to help commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One.

Find out more about the military hospital during 1914-16 at the Wrest at War event.

The craft activity will take place in a special memorial area at this year’s event, where a Royal British Legion Silent Soldier will also be stationed. Once decorated, the footprints will go on display at Wrest Park until late October. Families visiting Wrest Park for its Train the Troops event during May half term will also be able to join the campaign and design a set of footprints.

Thousands of visitors will be propelled back into wartime Britain during the blockbuster Wrest at War event, where the eras of both World War One and World War Two will combine for an action-packed bank holiday weekend. Re-enactors, spectacular displays and interactive activities will all be on show to tell the story of what life would have been like during times of war, both on the frontline and at home.

Families will be able to climb aboard ‘Frank the Tank’, a 1917 war tank and hear about how it was used during times of conflict. A WWI biplane will also be returning to the event and visitors will be able to sit inside the cockpit and experience life as a pilot.

A new display will enable visitors to immerse themselves in the world of First World War espionage and the life of Sapper Dorothy Thomas, a war correspondent who famously posed as a man to report directly from the frontline. Not only will the show tell the story of Dorothy’s fascinating life, families will also be able to try their own hand at espionage in the listening tent.

Elsewhere, breathtaking arena displays of army foot, rifle and firepower skills will take place throughout the day; visitors will be able to wander through the encampments of British, German and American troops and talk to the soldiers and hear about their lives on the frontline; people have a go at sending a simple message using Morse Code, Signal Flags and Lucas Signal Lamp; and find out more about medicine at the home front and help a nurse to bandage a patient.

Young visitors will have to fall into step as they’re put through their paces at the have-a-go obstacle course where they’ll get to see if they have what it takes to become a real life soldier of war.

The World War theme will continue into the May half term with Wrest Park’s Train the Troops event. Children can take part in the Great War Obstacle course, take part in a rifle drill and learn about WWI medicine.

The Wrest at War event runs from 10.30am to 5pm on Sunday, May 27 and Monday, May 28 May and English Heritage is offering 10% off tickets booked in advance online. The Train the Troops half term activities will run from 11am to 5pm, Tuesday, May 29 until Friday, June 1.