Highclere Castle will host a weekend dedicated to the commemoration of the First World War and to fundraise for those who have served and serve today, following the discovery of wreckages in the grounds.
On 8th and 9th September Highclere Castle will welcome several thousand visitors to engage and raise money for UK and other countries’ veterans and charities including Combat Stress, RBL, MSF, The Royal British Legion and homeless charities including Launchpad.
As in World War 1, Highclere Castle will again be transformed into a hospital, a place of healing with the First World War operating theatre reinstated in Arundel bedroom. There will also be today's soldiers/recovering veterans in situ in the Library as well as doctors and medics from MSF and other army doctors on hand.
Sunday 9th September will focus on aeroplanes andairmen, as a tribute to aviation and to pilots from the First and Second World War. In fact, the French aviation pioneer Voison stayed at Highclere as did Geoffrey de Havillandwho made his first flight from the estate in 1910. Some of de Havilland’s planes such as the Tiger Moth will be taking part.
A Weekend in a Hundred Years
Lady Carnarvon researched a number of World War II planes which crashed at Highclere Castle, with their crews from the UK, the USA, Canada and New Zealand. The remains of a B-17, P-38, two Mosquitoes, a Lysander, a Whitley and a Proctor are all buried within the grounds. The soldiers were sons, brothers and husbands, thus it’s key to Highclere Castle to honour them and create a memorial that visitors can see and walk around facing the hills. One was a Canadian pilot as well as army units camped at Highclere in the Park during WW2.
There will be a Sunday service on the lawn at 10.30 am with Chaplains from different countries conducting the service as well as a dedication to the new memorial, a carving from a fallen cedar tree, by Simon O’Rourke to honour those who have served and continue to serve today.
Aeroplanes taking part at the weekend will include the Red Arrows Display Team on Saturday as well as The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster Bomber, Hurricane and Spitfire. The UK’s only B17 will be present on both days as well as a Typhoon Display, the Tiger 9 Formation Team and the Great War Display Team.
The immensely popular Military Wives Choir will perform and a 1920’s band will form part of the musical entertainment.
Around the Castle,vintage cars, mock football games as played in war times and planes will be on show. A tea tent, a dance tentand a speakers’ tent with well known literary names to include Robert Harris and former war correspondent, Kate Adie amongst others will be speaking.
Highclere Castle is a country house in the Jacobethan style by the architect Charles Barry, with a park designed by Capability Brown. The 5,000-acre estate is in Hampshire, England, about 5 miles south of Newbury, Berkshire.
The Highclere Estate farms just over 2,000 arable acres in Hampshire. Crops include oats for horse (and human) consumption, milling and feed wheat, barley, haylage and winter oil seed rape, linseed and winter beans.
Highclere Castle was the venue for the award winning TV series Downton Abbey.
• Read Lady Carnarvon’s blog www.ladycarnarvon.com
• Lady Carnarvon tours both the UK and the US giving talks and presentations about Highclere, heritage and anecdotes to bring historic stories alive.
• Lady Carnarvon has written various illustrated Guidebooks about the Castle and its history as well as two short books about Egypt and the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen.
• Twitter @HighclereCastle