WW1 Centenary project

Field of Poppies photo by Miredi

The WW1 Centenary Project has now concluded. The WW1 Project Team would like to thank everyone who supported the project over the four year period of commemoration. The sacrifice of Harlow’s 128 men will never be forgotten.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon.


Centenary of The First World War 1914-1918 / 2014-2018

In 2012 the government announced it would allocate £50 million to fund national commemorations of the centenary of The First World War between 2014 and 2018.

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) received £5 million for redevelopment and a further £5.3 million was allocated to fund visits to the Western Front battlefields by pupils from all English schools.

The Heritage Lottery Fund allocated £15 million to community projects, led by young people, to conserve local heritage associated with the war.

In addition, a grant of up to £1 million will be given from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, to support the preservation of HMS Caroline, the last surviving warship from The First World War fleet, which served at The Battle of Jutland, in 1916.

Harlow’s WW1 Project Team

In early 2014, Harlow Council established a WW1 Project Team made up of members from The Royal British Legion, Heart 4 Harlow, Harlow Civic Society, The Western Front Association, members of the local community and Harlow Council, to plan and organise events and exhibitions to commemorate key dates of what was hoped would be the ‘war to end all wars’.

Events 2018

After the War exhibition

2018 marks the final year of the centenary commemorations of The First World War. Harlow’s WW1 Project Team has prepared a touring exhibition of what life was life ‘After the War’ for those who survived and returned to Harlow and the surrounding villages and the impact that the war had on society and those who lost loved ones in the conflict. 

The After the War exhibition (pdf) travelled around the town, visiting a number of locations. 

There but not There campaign 

Marking the final year of the centenary, ‘There but not There’ was a campaign for organisations or communities to purchase 6 foot tall aluminium silhouettes of WW1 Tommie’s to be installed in locations.

Harlow’s WW1 Project Team was generously awarded £1,500 from Harlow Council and £1,500 from HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd to purchase four silhouettes which were installed around the town during the Remembrance period.

One of the Tommy Silhouettes was placed the window of the Civic Centre, another at Pets’ Corner and the remaining two silhouettes were installed in the Water Gardens for Remembrance weekend. 

Your Country Needs You

Michael Whitmore’s play 'Your Country Needs You' explores the politics behind the outbreak of the war through to the Battle of the Somme, using sketches and vignettes to follow the fate of a ‘Pals’ Battalion leaving England’s shores for the fields of Northern France.

The play was performed at The Bandstand, Harlow Town Park on Wednesday 24 October 2018 at 2:00pm.

WW1 Remembrance Guided Walk

A walk to remember those from Netteswell Cross who died during the First World War, tour the area they lived in and gain an insight into the village and the time they lived.

The walk took place on Saturday 3 November 2018 at 10:00am. 

Events 2017

The Battle of Passchendaele

Twenty seventeen marked the centenary of The Battle of Passchendaele. The battle fought between July and November 1917 has become infamous for the mud and heavy losses. 250,000 British and Commonwealth troops were killed, injured or missing, a quarter of all troops deployed. Five men from Harlow lost their lives at Passchendaele, they were:
  • Lee Lewis (Netteswell war memorial) died 12 August 1917
  • Albert Edward Lincoln (Potter Street war memorial) died 10 September 1917
  • Victor Albert Burton (Old Harlow war memorial) died 25 September 1917
  • Montague Jones Winch (Potter Street war memorial) died 26 September 1917
  • Joseph Culver (Netteswell war memorial) died 9 October 1917

The Battle of Passchendaele exhibition (pdf) travelled around the town.

Events 2016

The Battle of the Somme

On 1 July 2016, The WW1 Project Team hosted a special service in Harlow Market Square, at 7:00am, to mark the exact moment of the centenary of The Battle of the Somme. At the service, the names of the 13 men from Harlow who lost their lives at the battle were read out and a two minutes silence was held. Chair of the WW1 Project Team, Councillor Jean Clark then laid a memorial wreath under the specially designed banner, marking the centenary of the battle.

The Battle of the Somme exhibition (pdf) was held between July and November 2016, commemorating the 13 men from Harlow who died at The Battle of the Somme. The exhibition travelled around the town to various locations, including, The Harvey Centre, Harlow Library, The Leisurezone, Harlow Museum, Tye Green Library, Harlow College and Civic Centre.

Illustrated book

In 2014 research was undertaken to identify the names and last resting place of those who died during the conflict. These have been recorded in a special illustrated book, based on original research by Arthur Graham, and on a war memorials map.


Previous events

  • The Battle of the Somme remembrance - 1 July 2016.
  • Potter St War Memorial - re dedication ceremony - 4 August 2014

  • Community encouraged to knit to remember - 20 August 2014

  • Lest We Forget exhibition at the Gibberd Gallery - 20 September 2014

  • Black History Month - WW1 commemoration - 4 October 2014

  • A November Day at the Harlow Playhouse - 22 October 2014

  • Our Friends, The Enemy - 19 November 2014

  • Guided Walk - Remembrance Walk at the Town Park - 11 November 2014

  • A knit to remember - a display in the Gibberd Gallery of knitted poppies by members of the public - Knitting pattern info sheet (pdf)