Hayling University of the Third Age Book Launch and Opening of the Exhibition’s Life and Times on Hayling Island 1914-1919 – 1st November

It is very appropriate that in this the year that marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War the U3A and many Hayling Islanders have worked immensely hard to bring together this exhibition and book launch; as a commemoration of those involved in the First World War and the sacrifice made by so many. The Life and Times of Hayling Island 1914 – 1919 was officially recognised and supported by the Heritage Lottery fund who contributed £9,600 through their “Then and Now programme”.

The project has recorded family stories passed on down through the generations and preserved information and photos in perpetuity so that future generations will understand the sacrifices made and the impact made on family life.   In addition the project has brought local people together and involved young local people.

Credit must be given to Janet Coats Jones whose original booklet gave details of the men recorded on the Memorial Plaques in St Mary’s Church and this served as a catalyst for the publication launched today.  Janet expanded on her original booklet, to include the role women and children played in keeping family life going and local industries productive, as well as work on numerous Island farms, the School of Musketry and the Local Volunteers Hospital as well as support given to the troops at the front by sending home comforts.

Thanks must also be given to the U3A, but in particular to Michael Burnham the Project Lead for his enthusiasm and encouragement that has driven the project tirelessly and enabled its success. Grateful thanks also to the Royal British Legion (Hayling branch) for all their assistance and help and for making their facilities available for this exhibition. I do hope the U3A manage to find a suitable permanent home for the artefacts that belong to them.

It gave me great pleasure, on behalf of the U3A, to present Janet,   Michael and Peter Everard with specially inscribed copies of the book. I was also lucky enough to be presented with one myself and I thank them for this.

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