AN exhibition commemorating the outbreak of World War One has been opened in Yate.

The South Gloucestershire and the First World War display launched on July 23 in the town’s Tesco Extra supermarket where it will remain until the end of August.

The exhibit is part of a £60,000 project, funded under the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) First World War: then and now programme, which has seen South Gloucestershire Council working with local community heritage organisations to improve public engagement with the anniversary.

The authority has co-ordinated a range of activities and set up a website to signpost exhibitions and events.

The exhibition was opened by chairman of South Gloucestershire Council Cllr Howard Gawler alongside deputy store manager Steve Baker and Vice Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Robert Bernays OBE.

Cllr Gawler (lib Dem, Ladden Brook) said: “We are grateful for the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to fund the development of this essential project which will provide a central base for the many centenary projects which are happening throughout South Gloucestershire.

“By working with the many heritage organisations in the area, this project will ensure that the centenary is commemorated locally and show the effect of the First World War on individuals and communities in South Gloucestershire.”

The travelling exhibition shows the impact of the war in the area and how communities were changed in other countries with which South Gloucestershire is now twinned. It reveals that people in South Gloucestershire fought as soldiers, became nurses and worked in factories, and that local businesses made aircraft, motorbikes and boots which were used in the First World War.

Tesco’s regional corporate affairs manager Jack Pearson said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the exhibition and to be supporting the centenary project.

“We know how important it is and hope that customers will find it interesting and insightful. We hope that by hosting the exhibition as many people as possible will be able to see it.”

The official opening also featured poetry readings which included recitals of Aftermath by Siegfried Sassoon and the Hawkesbury Hospital by Sergeant E Rex, along with a performance of period songs by local singer Rachael Hunt.

The exhibition will remain at the Tesco supermarket in Yate for four weeks before moving on to the Tesco store in Bradley Stoke for a further four weeks, after which it is available for other venues in the area.

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