THE village of Crowle, about four miles east of Worcester, is turning back time with weekend of walks, talks, entertainment, exhibitions, memorabilia, dress and children’s games of the era, to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Called Crowle and the Great War, the event will be on July 19-20, when two ‘"back in time" walks, for which free maps will be available, will take place on both days. A guided, “Soldiers’ Walk” on parish footpaths will take in places of significance to the 18 men from the parish who were killed in the war and is being considered as a permanent, sign-posted, Worcestershire Walk by the County Council. While a family discovery trail will highlight village landmarks and buildings from 100 years ago, such as the old butchers, the blacksmiths and the shop. At the church, a local historian will be at hand at the war memorial to answer any questions.

Lee Turner, co-organiser of the event, said: “Crowle has a reputation for staging successful events and lots of villagers are working together, entering into the spirit of the times, dressing up, baking, giving talks, presenting and performing, to make this commemorative weekend truly memorable.”

An exhibition will be in the village hall on each of the two days, from 10am – 4pm, when visitors will be invited to look at life in the village 100 years ago and find out about its size and who lived there and also make their own memorial poppy and try their hand at brass rubbing a Dead Man's Penny, the small bronze memorial plaque awarded to the family of any soldier, regardless of rank, who died in the First World War. Local historian, Mark Rogers, will also give two free talks at the hall on both days on different aspects of the 18 fallen.

A £4,900-award from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War then and now programme, is funding a free Crowle and the Great War’A5 programme for all parishioners, looking back at life 100 years ago and providing details of the 18 fallen men. A new A4 historical book, “Crowle and the Great War – our fallen 18,” which has been written for the event by three village genealogists, inspired by Mark Rogers’ research, will be on show and available to order at the exhibition, at cost and with the first 40 copies subsidised by the HLF grant.

Over the weekend children will be able to play games from the period at the hall, including skipping, hopscotch and hoops; refreshments and cakes will be available and there will be a ‘poppy’ tombola, with all prizes having a poppy theme, proceeds from which will go to the British Legion. The Sherwood Foresters Regiment, which was later incorporated with the Worcestershire Regiment ,and the Western Front Association will also have display s at the event.

On Saturday evening, July 19, the village theatre and singing troupes, Crowle Players and Crowle Singers, will jointly present musical entertainment from the period at the Old Chequers pub, where food of the time, such as corned beef hash and rabbit pie, will be available and for which tickets will be on sale at the village post office. On Sunday morning, July 20, at 10am there will be a commemorative service in the village's St John the Baptist Church.