On 29th April 2014 a subcommittee of the Club organised a World War 1 Commemoration Supper at Abbots Barton Hotel. It took the form of a formal Mess Dinner, with uniforms and medals worn where appropriate and formal toasts, passing of the Port and after-dinner entertainments.
After guests were summoned to supper by a bugle-call, the President (in the uniform of a Brigadier in the Paratroopers) started the event with a welcome speech, then handed over to the Master of Ceremonies and principal organiser, Peter Hermitage.
photos by Robin Hendy, click any image to enlarge
After Supper, which included Passing the Port for the Loyal Toast, an Audiovisual show accompanied the entertainment. Martin Ward as Jeremy Paxman interviewed King George V (Bob Anderson), Kaiser Wilhelm (Andrew Barchi), Tsar Nicholas (Robert Boyd-Howell) and Tommy Atkins (Robin Vickers) about how and why World War 1 started.
Sheila Boyd-Howell told us of the impact which WW1 had on Women, illustrated with many poems. Then ten Rotarians read poems by Kipling, Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon and others about the terrors and the pity of War.
Pauline Banks, in full Edwardian costume, sang "Roses of Picardy" and "Keep the Home Fires Burning" and the audience joined in the choruses. Finally, Master of Ceremonies Peter Hermitage amused the audience with the humorous side of WW1 as exemplified by extracts from "The Wipers Times".