Firms urged to back First World War re-enactment day

A recruitment day on The Square in Market Harborough in 1914 (picture courtsey of the Harborough Museum archives)
A recruitment day on The Square in Market Harborough in 1914 (picture courtsey of the Harborough Museum archives)

Town centre businesses are being urged to get behind an event to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Harborough Museum wants Harborough town centre to be transported back in time to 1914 for the event on Saturday, August 9.

Jane Tugwell, local co-ordinator from the Harborough Museum Trust, said: “It’s all about local businesses now entering into the spirit and decorating their shops to commemorate this centenary.

“Obviously, we want lots of crowds out on August 9 at our event.

“In some towns, local businesses are decorating shop windows and really making an effort.”

The event, on The Square at 11am and repeated at midday, will be a reenactment of recruitment day from 1914, at which members of the air cadets in period army uniform will play the part of enlisted men supporting a recruitment officer appealing to the assembled crowd.

Other cadets in civilian clothes of the era will come forth and sign up.

Harborough Band will be playing rousing music and members of Market Harborough Drama Society will play officers. Other members of the drama society and volunteers will be playing the roles of suffragettes in the crowd.

Audience participation will be actively encouraged.

The pageant will then move on to later in the war with wounded soldiers returning, and reading out some actual letters home from the museum’s archives, including one sent to a R&WH Symington corset factory worker.

The proceedings will draw to a close with a list of the Harborough fallen soldiers’ names being read and the Last Post being played by a cadet bugler. It will all be recorded by the Harborough Movie Makers group.

Meanwhile, it was announced this week by Harborough Churches Together that three ceremonies will be held in town on Monday, August 4, to mark the centenary.

There will be a short service at the Cottage Hospital war memorial portico at 7pm.

This will be followed by a second short ceremony at the town’s Memorial Gardens at 7.30pm where a pergola has been refurbished and planted with varieties of roses that would have grown in 1914.

Finally, a service of commemoration will be held at St Dionysius Church at 7.45pm.

To support the re-enactment day, phone 07968 184 345 or email