The Year Ahead & Centenary Commemorations

Posted on 29th January 2014 by Julie and David Thomson in General News.

The Year Ahead & Centenary Commemorations

A new year has dawned at no.fifty6 and we are excited about the year which lies ahead. We so enjoyed our first year here during 2013, mainly due to the wonderful guests who have stayed with us and the French way of life. We have learned so much and have met so many fantastic people, we really do feel that our lives have been enriched by the experiences we have shared. We look forward to being reacquainted with our returning guests this year, and of course the thrill of meeting new guests for the first time and sharing this wonderful area of The Somme which we now call home.

Of course this year is the Centenary of the start of the Great War – in fact it is difficult not to know about it as everyday there is a media story or comment about how the War is being commemorated. We just hope that some of the really good material which is out there does not get lost in  a fog of WW1 overkill which turns people off.

For us here the commemorations should be about remembrance, education and reflection. An opportunity to discover, understand and interpret what happened with the benefit of hindsight - not an opportunity to score political points on how children should be educated about the War, whether it is right to have Kitchener’s image on a coin or whether Blackadder dumbs down the War.

The next five years are really important in bringing an understanding of the events of 100 years ago to a wider audience.  From debates we have had with guests here at no.fifty6, we know there are a myriad of opinions on most aspects of the Great War and that is one of the reasons the subject is so fascinating.

We hope that the Centenary will encourage more young people to watch a programme, read a book or blog or research their own ancestors. It is the next generation we have to inspire. If one person stands at the edge of Lochnagar Crater or in front of a headstone and says – “yes, I get this, I understand and I will not let the events here be forgotten or your sacrifice be futile,” then that will be the best possible reaction to the commemorations.

100 years gives us an opportunity to look back at a fixed point in history and ask questions and let the answers resonate across the years. 

We will continue to highlight Centenary inspired articles, programmes, art, events and books which inspire us. We have a Facebook page and Twitter feed so please feel free to like us or follow us:


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