A VILLAGE in the Cotswolds will be paying its own special tribute to the brave troops who served their country during the First World War.

With the centenary of the start of the war less than two months away, the village of Ilmington is gearing up to hold its own nine-day commemoration of those involved and their efforts.

Kicking off this evening (Thursday) with a special book club session on war poets, people can enjoy a series of events taking place until Sunday, July 13.

These include poetry readings, a play and a community sing-along, while the final event will be an exhibition of war memorabilia and art to coincide with the open gardens weekend on Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13.

Nineteen men from the village died during the conflict and their names are now inscribed on the village war memorial.

Organiser Mark Currey said that, after the village’s Diamond Jubilee events two years ago, the community was really keen to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

“The village got together in such a nice way I thought it would be nice to do it again for the First World War,” he said.

“We’re really looking forward to it, there’s a real buzz about it in the village.

“We thought we would spread the events right across the board so there would be something for everyone.”

Tomorrow (Friday) the village film club is showing ‘Oh What a Lovely War’, followed by a poetry reading ‘The Pity of War’ by three actors on Sunday in the village hall at 7.30pm.

Judge the Poet, otherwise known as Ilmington resident David Raeburn, will be creating a village poem in a special event in the village hall on Tuesday, July 8 and on Friday, July 11 there will be sing-song in the Red Lion at 8pm.

And for the first time since the First World War, a group of woman from the village will be performing the traditional Ilmington Morris Dance.

One of the main attractions of the nine-day event will see Mark Carey performing his one-man play, ‘Into the Breach’, in St George’s Hall, in Blockley, at 7.30pm on Saturday, July 12.

This will be followed by a special service of remembrance on Sunday, July 13 at 6.30pm at St Mary’s Church, in Ilmington.

Mr Currey is hoping others from across the Cotswolds will join in the commemoration.

“We all came together and thought it would be really important we remembered what happened and that the children learnt about what happened 100 years ago,” he said.

“It’s not just for the village. Anyone from the surrounding area who wants to come and join in and experience any of the things would be very welcome.”