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Call for Wolverhampton to remember its war heroes

People are being urged to be a part of Wolverhampton's Festival of Remembrance which this year features a special showcase by local school pupils.

Second World War veteran Arthur Thomas with Colton Hills School student Amarpreet Binew, 16, Councillor Linda Leach and Wolverhampton Mayor Councillor Ian Brookfield
Arthur Thomas, Amarpreet Binew, Cllr Linda Leach, Mayor Cllr Ian Brookfield

The city is holding its annual afternoon of music and remembrance at the Wulfrun Hall on Sunday 1 November, 2015, and this year students from Colton Hills Community School are helping organise, and taking part in, the event.

The Festival gives people young and old the chance to honour the sacrifices of the city's war heroes, and students from Colton Hills met veterans, including 93 year old Arthur Thomas from Tettenhall, and members of the Festival of Remembrance Committee at a launch hosted by the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Ian Brookfield last week.

Arthur Thomas was based at General Eisenhower's Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force at Bushey Park, London, where his skills as a teleprinter operator played a vital role in the war and the D-Day landings.

Mr Thomas said: "I was in a reserved occupation as a pattern maker when the war started but I didn't want to miss out and not do my bit so I joined the Royal Signals in 1943 and I never regretted it."

Sixth form student Amarpreet Binew, who is taking part in the Festival, said: "The Festival of Remembrance is a great way for young people like me to understand what happened and to work with people like Arthur who remember the war or whose families were involved. I'm looking forward to the festival and hope younger people come along to experience it."

The Festival starts with the ceremonial parade of Standards, a rousing version of the National Anthem, readings, a peace and reconciliation service, the Last Post and a spectacular poppy drop.

It continues with performances from Britain's Got Talent star Jean Martyn and The Miss Fortunes, singing Glenn Miller classics and community singing.  It will also showcase the history work of Colton Hills' students.

Councillor Linda Leach, Chair of the Wolverhampton Festival of Remembrance Committee, said: "This is always a very moving and important event in the city's calendar. We must never forget the men and women of Wolverhampton who served and who made the ultimate sacrifice during past and more recent conflicts.

"We want to see people from across the generations take part and we hope families will bring their children and encourage them to learn about the past, meet veterans from the Second World War and other conflicts, and remember those who fell."

The Festival of Remembrance takes place at the Wulfrun Hall, North Street, Wolverhampton, on Sunday 1 November, 2015. Doors open at 1pm and the event begins at 2pm. Tickets are £5 each, while patrons tickets, priced £15, are also available and include a reception in the Mayor's Parlour and priority seating.

Tickets can be purchased now on 0870 320 7000 or in person from the Civic Hall Box Office in the foyer of the Civic Hall, North Street. Tickets may also be available on the day, though people are advised to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

  • released: Tuesday 6 October, 2015