Woodhall Spa’s proud heritage in spotlight

The traditional memorial in Woodhall Spa in rememberance of servicemen who lost their lives on both world wars

The traditional memorial in Woodhall Spa in rememberance of servicemen who lost their lives on both world wars

0
Have your say

Final preparations are underway for a special exhibition which will mark Woodhall Spa’s contribution to both World Wars.

The ‘Woodhall Fallen’ exhibition will be held at the Petwood Hotel from Tuesday November 4 to Sunday November 7.

The memorial to the 617 Dambusters Squadron which was unveiled last year at a special ceremony

The memorial to the 617 Dambusters Squadron which was unveiled last year at a special ceremony

It will include biographies of servicemen from Woodhall Spa who lost their lives during Word War One and World War Two.

The exhibition will also bridge the generation gap as it will feature work by pupils from St Andrew’s School.

They have videoed interviews with senior members of the community who reflect on their own wartime experiences.

The exhibition forms part of the on-going and ambitious ‘Wartime Woodhall’ project.

Spokesman Graham Keegan said: “It is an exhibition of the community’s memories, knowledge and memorabilia of the fallen from both World Wars.

“The contributions of these local men are extraordinary - from serving in the Imperial Camel Corps to being awarded the Military Cross on the battlefields of Northern France.”

Mr Keegan was full of praise for the efforts of St Andrew’s school pupils.

He added: “They have undertaken an excellent project and the videos they have made are remarkable.

“They give a fascinating insight into what life was like for local people during the Second World War.

“The first of the videos is online already and they will all be shown at the exhibition.”

The overall aim of the Wartime Woodhall project is to raise awareness among the community about the village’s historic and important role in both conflicts.

Perhaps Woodhall’s best-known war-time link is via the famous 617 Dambusters Squadron. The squadron’s Officers’ Mess was based at the Petwood Hotel.

However, a number of other buildings were utilised for wartime purposes and Woodhall was a major staging point for soldiers involved in the Battle of Arnhem.

Apart from the exhibition, it is hoped to establish a wartime heritage trail through Woodhall - highlighting sites of historical importance.

Funding has been secured and the project has the backing of Woodhall Spa Parish Council.

Mr Keegan is confident the trail will be a popular addition to Woodhall’s list of attractions and will compliment already successful events like the annual 40s Festival.

*Admission to the exhibition is free. It will open daily from 10am to 8pm.