Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Remember 1916 Jutland and the Somme

Remember 1916

gb-happyThe Group has been very busy during the last couple of weeks continuing with work related to the First World War Centenary Partnership which we joined in 2014.  This year our focus is on 1916 and the two major battles of that year, Jutland at sea from 31 May to 1 June and the Somme on land from 1 July to 18 November. In particular we are remembering the men of Ryde who died at this time.

On the evening of 19 October we went along to the 3rd Ryde Girls Brigade Company meeting at the George Street Centre. There were about 18 girls ranging in age between 4 and 17, along with their officers and leaders. The first poppies and forget-me-nots were made for our Garden of Remembrance, poppies for the Ryde men who died at the Somme and forget-me-nots for those lost at Jutland. There were Rolls of Honour posters for both battles and other information about the ships and the individuals who died was made available. The girls started work on the two Books of Remembrance with illustrated personal messages to the soldiers and sailors and their families. The evening finished with a talk and slide show and the girls were most attentive, asking questions and making thoughtful comments.

Monday morning, 24 October found us at Ryde Library where some of the youngest members of our community made flowers for our Remembrance Garden. Before and after their Rhyme Time they joined us to make some quite unicoffee-morning-groupque blooms.  

Following our session at Ryde Library the activities surrounding the Somme and Jutland Remembrance Project moved to the Ryde Cemetery and Learning Centre for a coffee morning which was held on Tuesday 25 October. Unlike our usual event format where members and visitors are able to see completed display boards and exhibits, this was presented as a work in progress in preparation for our Remembrance Service on 10 November. The displays were being worked on in the South Chapel and 20 or so members and visitors who attended during the morning were able to join in poppy and forget-me-not making and writing in another Book of Remembrance, if they so wished, while having their coffee and biscuits.

Proceedings were a little chaotic as our transcribing team were also there going about their normal Tuesday morning business and two visitors had brought some Jutland memorabilia to share with us. However those attending were able to witness various seldom seen aspects of what goes on behind the scenes when we are preparing for an event and gave every indication of having enjoyed the experience.


On 1 November we had 29 children from  Year 6 at Greenmount Primary School who came along to Ryde Cemetery for a morning of First World War Studies. The children were in 4 groups named after soldiers and sailors who served in the Great War. As well as contributing to the Remembrance Garden and the Remembrance Books, they went on a guided walk of First World War graves and viewed the exhibition in the South Chapel.  The Greenmount pupils were, as always, well behaved, polite and extremely interested in everything around them. Lots of questions were asked and comments made, on many other subjects as well as the War. The abundance of very large anthills in the Old Parish Cemetery produced animated discussion and some of the war graves had to be viewed from a safe distance!

Many thanks to the various members of Ryde Social Heritage Group who assisted with such enthusiasm in all these activities. Thanks also to John Martin, Ryde Cemetery Sexton, for all his help and support.

Ourshg-after-greenmountr 1916 Centenary Commemoration will culminate on Thursday 10 November with a Service of Remembrance at Ryde Cemetery Chapel at 6.30 pm. All are welcome.