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Carshalton Choral Society to premiere Great War Oratorio

The series of commemorative events in the borough of Sutton marking the centenary of the 1914-18 First World War continue in November when the Carshalton Choral Society premieres a new work – A Great War Oratorio – featuring music by Sutton composer Christopher Wood.


The choir, under the baton of director Philip Collin, will be joined by local soprano soloist Margaret Cooper, a regular singer with Guest House Opera and an orchestra comprised of young players from Sutton Music Service and other local orchestras, for the concert at All Saints Church, by Carshalton Ponds, on Saturday 21 November at 7.00pm.

The musical content of this evocative, entertaining and informative account of the ‘War to End All Wars’ comprises six pieces for choir and orchestra and these will be interspersed with text by Dick Bower and readings of much-loved poetry and prose of the period selected by Will Harris.

‘This concert will have an extra poignancy for me, since I recently discovered that a young man set off from the very house where I live in Sutton, to answer the call to fight for King and Country,’ Chris explains. ‘Like so many other brave young men he waved goodbye to his mother and father, never to see them again. His name was Private Allen George Young of the East Surrey Regiment. He died on 3 September 1916, from “wounds,” aged 20 and is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe. I am dedicating the oratorio to him.’

The story also recalls the work being done by Borough Archivist, Val Shawcross, to digitize around 10,000 glass plate images taken by local photographer David Knights-Whittome at the start of the war. Many local men had their picture taken for their loved ones, in their smart new uniforms, before setting off for the front. Sadly, many were never to return.

A Great War Oratorio, All Saints Church, High Street, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 3EE, 7pm. Tickets are priced at £5 and can bought on the door (cash only). Refreshments will be available.

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Sutton’s libraries and museums to stage range of WW1 events

Libraries and museums across Sutton are staging events to commemorate the start of the First World War.

Saturday 1st – Friday 28th November.
Cheam Library Exhibition: ‘The Role of Women During WWI’
Using a combination of photographs, original newspaper articles and other materials, this exhibition charts the incredible change to the role of women during the era of World War One.
Cheam Library
Church Road, Cheam, Surrey, SM3 8QH Tel: 020 8644 9377.
Exhibition is free.

Wed 5th November 
The Friends of Wallington Library and Gardens present
‘1914 and All That’
A talk by Amanda Hill
11.30am-12.30pm Free admission

Two thirds of 1914 was peaceful, but the year has come down to us as the ultimate signal of war. So much excellent coverage of Sarajevo and after, has been assembled for by book and by film, but I have put together little stories and forgotten facts, international, national and even parochial, to give a picture of the year as a whole.
Wallington Library
Shotfield, Wallington, Surrey, SM6 0HY Tel: 020 8770 4900
Thurs 13th November
The Great War Poetry Workshop
7.30 – 9.30pm

Led by professional poet Stephen Smith, with additional guidance from Sutton Writers Circle and using the artefacts in Honeywood Museum’s War to End All Wars exhibition as inspiration, this practical workshop will concentrate on creative methodologies, exploring perspective, form and figurative language, and will lead participants to the preliminary drafting of a poem.

Stephen Smith has worked as a University lecturer, a writer in Residence, a Creative Writing tutor in Adult Education and as a lecturer in literature, history and philosophy for the WEA. His critically acclaimed collection, The Fabulous Relatives, won a major Eric Gregory award.

This event is FREE, but pre-booking is requested by ringing 020 8770 4297
Honeywood Museum
Honeywood Walk. Carshalton. SM5 3NX. Tel: 0208770 4297

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Borough experts to lead battlefield trip to Ypres in 2016

One of the borough’s top experts has arranged a special World War One trip to Ypres next year. Author Andy Arnold will be one of the two guides organising the one day event which is open to Sutton residents.

Sites to be visited include Essex Farm, Tyne Cot memorial and cemetery, Sanctuary Wood trench system and museum, and Hooge. The trip will end with the ‘Last Post’ ceremony at the Menin Gate.

“Where possible we will also incorporate personal visits of remembrance,” said Andy.
DATE: Saturday 16th April 2016
COST: £80 per person

The cost includes local pick up and drop off, luxury coach, return
Eurotunnel travel, full guiding throughout the day, museum entrance
costs, and a two course evening meal with drinks.

“Sutton & Carshalton were ineradicably affected by the First World War. Over 6,000 men and boys from Sutton & Carshalton served during the war; 750 would lose their lives and are commemorated on the local war memorials.

“Join us as we journey to the Ypres salient, scene of heavy fighting during the war, and follow in the footsteps of those who served.

“Held by the Germans for a few hours in October 1914, Ypres symbolised the freedom of the Belgian people against the onslaught of the German Army. The British Army committed hundreds of thousands of men to defend this area of Flanders and over 250,000 died in the resulting campaigns and battles.

Guides for the day will be: Andy Thompson, owner of Eyewitness Tours; an
experienced battlefield guide and member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides

Andrew Arnold, local author of ‘Their Name Liveth For Evermore: Carshalton’s First World War Roll of Honour’
To reserve a place on the trip or for any enquiries, please contact Andrew
Tel: 07950 021197
The trip will depart from Sutton station early and return late! (final times
For full booking terms and conditions, please see

To secure your place on the trip, please complete the form below and return it along with a cheque deposit of £25 per person. Please make cheques payable to ‘Eyewitness Tours’.
Post your form and cheque to:
Andrew Arnold, 150 Carshalton Road, Sutton, SM1 4RS

On receipt of your booking form and deposit an acknowledgement email will be sent along with a copy of the terms and conditions. The remaining balance of £55 per person is payable eight weeks before the trip.

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Award winning production to be staged at The Cryer in August

The award winning production You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy is to be staged at The Cryer August 15 and 16 at 7.30pm.

You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy, is the extraordinary true story of an eccentric young French
woman’s affair with a tongue-tied English teacher, set against the backdrop of the Second World War.
Waiting at Gare Du Nord for the train that will reunite her with her fiancé, this irrepressible
Mademoiselle shares their love story: from a chance encounter at Cheadle tennis club to cosmopolitan
1930s Paris, before their inevitable separation by war.

In 2002, Christiane, moved into sheltered housing. Amongst a lifetime of clutter, was a shoebox containing her wartime letters. Over the last year, Caroline has pieced together her story from the letters and from their conversations about Christiane’s youth, her romance with Cyril and her memories of occupied France. These memories are full of humour, resilience and her love of life.

You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy was commissioned by China Plate/Warwick Arts Centre/mac
for the Bite Size Festival 2010. It premiered at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010.
£12 / £10 concessions

Book online at or by phone on 020 3771 9055 or 020 3771 9317
For more information about the company visit:
Running Time: 1 hr

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Borough remembers in a host of ways

Sutton will play host to a range of events commemorating Remembrance Day.

Sutton Life Centre Library will host a talk by Tony Brett-Young on the importance of Remembrance Day starting at 7pm on Wednesday 11 November. Finally, All Saints Church in Carshalton will be the venue for the debut of A Great War Oratorio on Saturday 21 November. This exceptional show will feature local musicians, actors and singers performing an especially-written oratorio which will focus on Sutton’s experiences during World War 1.

Tickets cost £5 and can be ordered from GREAT WAR

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Christmas in the trenches film to be screened in borough

The Friends of Sutton Life Centre’s monthly film night is taking a break for the next two months (August and September) but resumes on 31 October with The Intouchables, (Cert 15), an irreverent, uplifting French comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility.

Released in 2011, and starring Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy, The Intouchables has broken box office records in its native France and across Europe. Based on a true story, the film depicts an unlikely camaraderie between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common – a handicapped millionaire and his street-smart ex-con caretaker. The showing begins at 7pm on Friday 31 October at Sutton Life Centre. Refreshments £3 (£2 for Friends of SLC).

With the centenary of the 1914 Christmas truce in the trenches just a month away, the SLC Friends’ November offering is a timely showing of the 2005 production of JoyeuxNoël (Merry Christmas) – Cert PG-13. Depicted through the eyes of French, Scottish and German soldiers the film presents a panoramic portrait of soldiers from three countries who participated in one of the most famous events of the first part of the Great War. Nominated for an Academy Award, JoyeuxNoëlwas one of Ian Richardson’s last appearances before his death in 2007. The Friday 28 November showing also begins at 7pm at Sutton Life Centre.
Refreshments £3 (£2 for Friends of SLC).

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Grants available for WW1 commemoration initiatives in Sutton

The London Borough of Sutton has made £20,000 of grant funding available to be allocated in small grants (maximum £500 or more by exception) to support local community organisations to deliver projects that commemorate the anniversary of the First World War. The money will be allocated from 2015 – 2018.

The fund is available for ‘not for profit’ organisations to support local, small scale projects that commemorate the First World War. Voluntary and community groups can apply if they have a name, agreed purpose or terms of reference and a bank or building society account.

Where a group is coming together only for the purpose of putting on an event or activity it will need the support of an eligible organisation which is willing to receive the funds on behalf of the group.
Applicants can only make one application in each financial year enabling us to support a number of projects from different groups.

There are no deadlines, you can apply at anytime but it could take up to 12 weeks for a decision so please ensure that you allow plenty of time before the activity is due to take place.
Ensure that you read the guidance notes to give your application the best chance of success then complete this form and return to jane.allen@sutton or post to:
Jane Allen
Heritage Service Manager
Sutton Central Library
St Nicholas Way
Sutton SM1 1EA

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Sutton Police Cadets parade as part of Remembrance event

Sutton Volunteer Police Cadets took part in two services in the borough on Remembrance Sunday – 8 November.

At Belmont, a colour party of ten cadets marched with other groups through the streets before taking part in the Service of Remembrance which was attended by the Mayor of Sutton and Sutton Police Borough Commander Chief Supt David Snelling.

Other cadets took part in the Remembrance Service at Manor Park in Sutton Town Centre.

Cadets also helped with the Poppy Collection in Sutton High Street during two days of the half term holiday in October.

PC Lorraine Roche, who runs the cadets with PC Gill Nolan, said: “More than 70 of our cadets took part in the ceremonies and we were very proud so many of them took part and wanted to pay their respects. We also received many comments about how smart they looked,” she added.

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Sutton Writers looking for writers to take part in competition

Have you been inspired by the various local exhibitions and events to commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1?
If so, Sutton Writers and Arts Network Sutton are running a free writing competition open to anyone who lives or works in the London Borough of Sutton, and to all members of Sutton Writers.

Why don’t you enter? You can win a £50 first prize or £20 second and even if you don’t win, you will still have the chance of publication in our anthology.

There are two categories: poems up to 40 lines and prose (fiction or non-fiction) between 1000 and 2000 words.
All entries must have WW1 as a theme but you can interpret this as you wish.
Please do not use your own name but choose a pen-name.

The closing date is 1st December 2014. You may submit up to three entries altogether but you must use the same pen-name for each.

7089397Please email your entries to: and include your full contact details in the email.

Please send your work as an email attachment, if possible in MS Word, in Times New Roman 12 point font and put WW1 Centenary Writing Competition in the subject box.

If you can’t do attachments, you can paste a poem into the email itself. In exceptional cases only, postal entries will be accepted to WW1 Centenary Writing Competition, c/o 144 Markfield, Courtwood Lane, Croydon, CRO 9HQ. Please write under a pen-name and put your details in a separate envelope.

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Stanley Park students pay tribute to Carshalton’s war dead

More than 1100 students, staff and governors from Stanley Park High paid tribute to the servicemen from Carshalton who lost their lives in World War One in an extended Remembrance Day service.

An area of the school grounds was turned into a memorial as hundreds of students laid commemorative crosses, each bearing the name of one of the 243 Carshalton men who lost their lives during the war.

As part of the ceremony, an excerpt from year 10 student Emily Everest’s poignant and moving battlefield story was read aloud. Student Matthew Pigeon played the Last Post after an impeccably observed two minute silence.

David Taylor said “We wanted to pay tribute to our local servicemen, as well remember all those who lost their lives in conflicts since the First World War. On occasions the youth of today are criticised for showing a lack of interest in the sacrifices of previous generations. It is with great pride that I can say that this is unfair. Our students demonstrated the utmost respect for the fallen, not only throughout a very moving ceremony, but also during a wide variety of learning activities that have taken place over the last few weeks. This included our annual Year 8 visit to Ypres, Belgium.

Our memorial will remain in situ in the school grounds.”