SOLDIERS from Ilfracombe are to be honoured during a one-off event to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Town Crier Roy Goodwin devised the event and is appealing for anyone with family members who fought in the war to get involved.
Roy said he was inspired to put on the event by Robert Martin, a Town Crier who led the Ilfracombe soldiers off to war by marching them through the town on August 7 1914.
“He was a great town crier in his day and when I heard about him leading the volunteers through the town and realising it was the 100th anniversary next year, I thought we should do something,” said Roy.
Roy has gathered thirty town criers from across the UK to join him at the event which will take place on August 2 and 3 next year.
A re-enactment of Mr Martin’s parade is set to take place on the Saturday from the Pier to Runnymede Gardens where the names of all those who died in the war will be read out.
At least 166 soldiers from Ilfracombe died in the war.
“The whole idea is to say thank you to the volunteers,” said Roy. “They volunteered not knowing what they were volunteering for and no one knew what a world war was until then.”
Roy said he was hopeful many people in Ilfracombe will come forward who are descendants of those from the war to represent their ancestors.
More than 130 names have been discovered of soldiers from Ilfracombe who took part in the First World War.
“It shocked me how many did not come back,” said Roy. “Ilfracombe isn’t a particularly large community and to lose that many people in four years, well it just shocked me.”
On Sunday, August 3 there will also be a town criers competition in Runnymede Gardens followed by World War One era music on the bandstand.
If you want to be involved in the anniversary events, leave your name and contact details at The Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre at The Landmark on The Seafront, Ilfracombe Museum or at The Ilfracombe Centre on the High Street. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org.