Living legacy to mark WW 1 Centenary

Firs Field at the heart of Combe Down is to be protected forever by Bath & North East Somerset Council as a Centenary Field.  Run by national charity Fields in Trust, in partnership with The Royal British Legion, the Centenary Fields initiative aims to protect war memorial playing fields, parks and green spaces in memory of those who lost their lives during World War 1.

Firs Field at Combe Down
Firs Field at Combe Down.

The Firs Field is the only Centenary Field in Bath and North East Somerset, and this now gives it the added full protection against any development, so that it will remain a green space for enjoyment by residents in perpetuity.

Local group the Friends of Firs Field have organised a community event to dedicate a special Centenary Field plaque on Saturday 17 September at 3.00pm, which will include the reading of names on the Combe Down war memorial 

Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Community Sercices, said:  “I’d encourage all local residents to come to this significant celebration of the Firs Field.  It’s a unique way to commemorate the centenary of World War 1 and to mark Combe Down’s long association with Harry Patch, ‘the last surviving Tommy’ who died aged 111 in 2009. 

People may not know that Firs Field was bought by public subscription, inspired by a group of returning WW1 soldiers.”  

Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib Dem, Combe Down), who started this process in 2014  and paid for the plaque from her Ward Councillor Initiative grant allocation, said: “I’m delighted Firs Field now has Centenary Field status and am pleased to have been able to support the Centenary Field bronze plaque.

Firs Field is an extremely important green space, highly valued by the local community.The Friends of Firs Field group should be congratulated for their hard work in overseeing the field and for choosing the plaque.”

Fields in Trust

•           ‘Centenary Fields’ is the new programme from Fields in Trust in partnership with The Royal British Legion from 2014-2018

•           Landowners across the UK can nominate outdoor recreational spaces with a relevant connection to WWI. For example the parks, playing fields, memorial gardens or village halls with grounds could contain a war memorial or have some other significance to WWI.

•           All sites secured through the Centenary Fields programme will receive a commemorative plaque

•           Fields in Trust is a national charity founded in 1925 to improve the protection, provision and quality of outdoor recreational spaces for all communities in the UK

•           HM The Queen has been Patron of Fields in Trust for 60 years; HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was President for 64 years and succeeded by HRH The Duke of Cambridge in 2013. The Duke of Cambridge has also been the Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Fields Challenge