REPLICA trenches, marching cadets and candle lit services will all form part of a commemorative event taking part in Yarm next month as part of an ambitious four-year programme to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The two-day event will start on Sunday, August 3 with a parade through the town and a series of events on playing fields at Willey Flatts, and will conclude with a candle-lit service to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of war.

The day will start at 9.30am with a service in Yarm Parish Church and will continue with a parade to the War Memorial in the High Street, led by the Cleveland Police Band, with more than 200 cadets and veterans taking part and the salute being taken by Lord Crathorne, Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.

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There will be a short remembrance service at the memorial when the names of Yarm men who gave their lives during the war will be read out and wreaths will be laid. The parade will then march on to Willey Flatts where there will be a drumhead service.

A replica trench and an exhibition of World War One memorabilia, a field kitchen, Victorian fairground rides and period music will be among attractions at Willey Flatts over the whole weekend.

Yarm Mayor and chairman of the Yarm 1914 Commemoration Group, Peter Monck said: “The First World War had an impact on almost every family in the country and it is important that we remember those who served their country during those terrible years.

“We will be holding a special service at the War Memorial at 10pm on Monday, August 4 to commemorate the actual time that war was declared 100 years ago. Eighty five candles in glass poppies, created by local school children, will be lit, as the names of those who died are read out each candle will be extinguished. At 11pm, the time war was declared, the last candle will be extinguished followed by a sounding of the Last Post.

“We hope people will attend these events to show their respect for the many men who served and died during the four years of this terrible war.”

The Yarm 1914 Commemoration Group, which is planning events during the next four years, some of which will involve hundreds of local schoolchildren, is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Tees Valley Community Foundation.