Souvenir on stage and in concert – in West Wittering and Felpham

Richard Handford

Lest We Forget was originally planned for March this year – until Covid decimated the business. But now it has been rescheduled, timed once again to mark the centenary of the West Wittering players’ home, West Wittering Memorial Hall. The coin commemorates the life of the Fallen as it is engraved on the wall of the hall. Also included are readings and poetry and music of the time. It was written and compiled by Richard Handford with additional research by Major Mick Stanley. It takes place at West Wittering Memorial Hall Wednesday through Saturday, November 16-19 at 7:30 p.m., conducted by Richard. £8 and £7.50 tickets are available from Sayas News, Rookwood Road or 01243 513110.

As Richard explains: “The starting point for this was that the Memorial Hall committee approached the players and said they wanted to mark the centenary of the opening of Memorial Hall which was funded and built following of the First World War. The hall was to remember West Wittering residents who died and it opened in 1922. The Memorial Hall committee originally asked if we could put on a production written during World War I or set around 1922. When I arrived hearing about it, I thought we could do much better than that and honor the 19 men from West Wittering who died in the First World War. That would have been a huge number. I guess during WWI the population would have been something like 600 at the time. I start with the first recruits in 1914 joining and mentioning the two from West Wittering who were in the Royal Navy who died in 1914 and then the story is told year by year of what happened in the First War world with excerpts of people’s memories and some excerpts of poetry.

The men who died will be remembered: “Fortunately, I have a friend and neighbor by the name of Major Mick Stanley who did the research. He saw the names of the men and thought, “I don’t know anything about these men and I better find out.” Independently, I thought I was doing something, then I realized that Mick was able to do most of the research I needed, so I borrowed his research for the production.

Also to come, the Edwin James Festival Orchestra from Littlehampton will perform A Time for Remembrance.

Spokeswoman Madeleine Wadley said: “The Edwin James Festival Orchestra will perform their A Time for Remembrance concert on Saturday November 12 at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Center in Felpham. The concert will feature an extensive program of musical selections including Adagio from Spartacus, Mars from the Suite of Planets, the RAF and Knightbridge Marches, the Light Cavalry Overture and the ever-popular Moonlight Serenade. The Last Post will sound followed by two minutes of silence and the Réveil.

Tickets costing £10 are available on 01243 584920 or 01243 582330. Doors from 6.45pm.


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