Walsall Town Hall

National WWI Commemoration comes to Walsall

Walsall Town Hall

As the nation continues to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, Walsall Town Hall will open its doors to the public and invited guests on Saturday 21 February 2015 for two special events of historical significance.

The day starts at 11am where the Military Ancestry Road Show’s panel of experts will be on hand to help identify medals, uniforms, photos, war records and other ephemera from your family’s military past.

This event is free to the public and starts at 11am giving you the opportunity to meet the members of Military Ancestry Road Show until 2.30pm. They do not give financial valuations as the emphasis will be placed on the historical value of the items. You are welcome to bring along items from any military period.

Following that, Walsall Town Hall will be the venue for ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’, an invitation only event from 3pm that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle which took place 10-13 March 1915.

‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ will commemorate the Indian Army which served with great distinction and bravery. Rifleman Gabbar Singh Negi was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery during the battle and is one of 4,700 soldiers of the Indian Army who are commemorated at the Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial in France.

The Government has initiated a multi-faith (Sikh-Muslim-Hindu) commemoration of the battle and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, has said that he wishes the commemorations to be relevant and accessible to people of all faiths and ethnicities living in Britain.

The main event takes place in Manchester on 10 March 2015 and satellite events are being encouraged by the Government Steering Group leading the commemorations.

The ‘Shoulder to ‘Shoulder’ event is hosted by the Walsall based ‘1914 Sikhs’ and Walsall Council, with support from ‘Near Neighbours’, and will take place at Walsall Town Hall between 3pm and 5.30pm. If you would like an invitation to ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’, email Walsall Council’s community cohesion & engagement officer, Lutfur Rahman, at rahmanl@walsall.gov.uk