Local Studies & Archives - Remembering World War One in Sutton

There is a lot happening in Sutton to mark the centenary of the First World War. Sutton Council's World War One Steering Group meet regularly to decide ways the borough should remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice all those years ago.

July 1 2016 marks the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. July 1 1916 was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army - on the first day of the Somme Offensive alone the British Army suffered over 60,000 casualties, over 170 of whom came from our borough.

Groups from across the borough are combining to deliver a unique act of remembrance for those that died in the Somme Offensive. In the days running up to Friday July 1 2016 and on the day itself a range of commemoration events will acknowledge the sacrifice of those from across the borough and nationwide who died or were injured.

At 7.30am on Friday 1 July there will be a ceremonial whistle blowing at several of our war memorials to remember troops going "over the top" at that time. This will take place at Sutton War Memorial, Manor Park, and Carshalton War Memorial by Carshalton Ponds.

At 8pm on Friday 1 July 2016 an act of remembrance organised by Carshalton and Wallington Royal British Legion will take place at Carshalton War Memorial. The event begins at 8pm and is open to ex-service personnel and the public. During this event the church bells at All Saints, Carshalton, will ring half muffled and these will be joined by bells from St Dunstan’s Cheam which will also ring half muffled in honour of fallen and stricken soldiers. The bells of All Saints, Benhilton, will already have signalled this event by earlier in the week ringing their own tribute.

The event is open to the ex-service personnel and the public. The Mayor and other local dignitaries and members of the Royal British Legion will pay tribute with a short act of remembrance at 8pm. During this event the church bells at All Saints, Carshalton, will ring half muffled and these will be joined by bells from St Dunstan’s Cheam which will also ring half muffled in honour of the fallen and stricken soldiers.

The bells of All Saints, Benhilton, will signal the commemoration by ringing their own tribute. As darkness descends attention will turn to the facia of St. Helier Hospital where the borough’s unique collection of glass plate images of soldiers who left from this area to go to war will be projected. The projection will start at 9.30pm and will run for one hour. Photographer David Knights-Whittome's shop was at 18 High St, Sutton and the complete Past On Glass collection can be viewed by clicking here.

A special exhibition featuring works by local artists will be on display at Carshalton's Honeywood Museum from Wednesday 22 June honouring the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice on the fields of Picardy a century ago. Acid Drop Copse was a wood in the battlefields of the Somme, destroyed by the war and named by the soldiers after the boiled sweet they knew from home. The art collection was inspired by this name and, like the confection, is a complex mixture of bitter and sweet surprises, promising to make for a diverse and thought-provoking exhibition. Sculpture, metal casting, encaustic art, oil painting, print-making, ceramics, floristry, collage, and contemporary jewellery are all represented in this extensive and thought-provoking collection. Learn more about this exhibition on the Honeywood Museum website here.


The flyer for The Somme exhibition at Honeywood Museum, Carshalton, from June 22.

A special concert featuring Sutton Music Service will take place in Carshalton on November 11 2016. The concert, starting at 7pm at St. Andrews Church, will feature a unique film showing the Battle of the Somme which will be accompanied by a live performance from the Sutton Youth Symphony Orchestra who will perform a new score, especially created for the battle footage. Tickets are free and can be reserved by clicking here.