Hire company steps up to support WW1 centenary beacon


A tool hire company in Oswestry will be helping the local community take part in a national beacon commemoration honouring those who died during World War One.

Family business, Griffiths Hire Shops, is providing equipment as well as a donation towards the staging of a beacon on Old Oswestry hillfort, north of Oswestry, being organised by the Oswestry Heritage Gateway.

The beacon will be one of 1000s around the UK which will be lit at 7pm on November 11 as part of the Battle’s Over remembrance marking 100 years since the WW1 Armistice.

Kev Griffiths, a director at Griffiths Hire Shops, said: “We are very proud to be supporting this special WW1 beacon commemoration on Remembrance Sunday. I feel it is important that our children and future generations are aware of what our fathers, grandfathers and other family members sacrificed for our country.”

The hire group, which has outlets in Oswestry, Wrexham and Whitchurch, will be supplying generators, lighting, staging and safety equipment to help run the beacon and associated activities.

James Bond of BBC Radio Shropshire will host the event on Gatacre playing field where members of the public will enjoy a short programme of music along with readings by Dave Andrews, reader and writer in residence at Oswestry Library. Here the assembled crowd will view the hillfort beacon while holding torches and lanterns in a remembrance glow.

Other sponsors and supporters recently confirmed include Selattyn and Gobowen Parish Council, Gatacre Pavilion committee, NOW Group, and Oswestry Town Museum.

The outbreak of WW1 saw great changes within the landscape and town and parish communities around Old Oswestry. Among them was the rapid development of Park Hall training camp, one of the largest in the country, with a constant influx of troops, while local soldiers also set off for the battlefront, many never to return.

The hillfort played a prominent role in preparations, with practice trenches being dug on top for the instruction of troops destined for action on the Western Front. The trench network remains buried and preserved in its entirety, one of few large-scale systems from WW1 that survive in Europe today.

Pictured:  Griffiths Hire Shops director, Kev Griffiths (R) with Andy Mason, Oswestry branch manager.

  • Published on 27th October 2018