FIRST WORLD WAR: Events to mark centenary in Ripon

Ripon War Memorial in Spa Gardens.  (111109M2a)
Ripon War Memorial in Spa Gardens. (111109M2a)

A series of commemorative concerts, parades and special events will be held throughout Ripon to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Commemorations of the Great War will begin in August and run until until December, beginning with a service of Evensong at Ripon Cathedral on Sunday, August 3.

Editorial image

Editorial image

Dean John Dobson will lead the service on the eve of the National Commemoration of the start of the First World War.

The Rectory Chorale will be singing ‘Sumsion’ in G, Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine and Peter Aston’s ‘So they gave their bodies for the Commonwealth’.

Newby Hall will also be marking the eve by staging a concert of music from that period, hosted by renowned baritone Richard Suart.

The programme will feature Gilbert & Sullivan favourites, a massed festival choir performing World War One medleys and readings of work by War poets.

The performance will begin at 7.30pm and will be followed by a special day of racing at Ripon Racecourse on August 4.

Races continued on the day Britain entered the war and, 100 years later, the racecourse will mark this with races bearing the same names from 1914.

The Studley Selling Handicap Stakes and The City Welter Handicap Stakes. will race as well as a race in remembrance: The Ripon Remembers The Great War Handicap Stakes.

Mayor of Ripon, Mick Stanley said: “It’s been extremely rewarding putting this event together because it’s so significant. The Great War was a terrible waste of life.

“We have yet to really chart the role that Ripon played in World War 1 - 350,000 men trained in the two Ripon camps, beginning in earnest in 1915.”

Belgian refugees arriving in August 1914 sparked the first sign of War in Ripon but it was the arrival of the Army that had the greatest impact on the town.

Hutted and tented camps then appeared to the north and west of Ripon to house thousands of troops in transit.

The Ripon remembers World War One events are part of Discover Ripon. Visit: