Oakwell Hall and Red House to host WWI reenactment event

Oakwell Hall. (D534B436)
Oakwell Hall. (D534B436)

Epic battle reenactments and a military camp will be on show at Oakwell Hall during a First World War commemoration event.

Your Country Needs You will go ahead at the hall on Nutter Lane, Birstall, and at the Red House Museum in Gomersal on Sunday, July 5 from 1pm-4.30pm.

Oakwell Hall. (D534C436)

Oakwell Hall. (D534C436)

The Friends of Oakwell Hall and Friends of Red House Museum have organised the event, which will feature the Lancashire Hussars, horses and a mock recruitment march.

Friends of Oakwell Hall chairman Roger Knight said: “To my knowledge, over the last 25 years this is the first time we’ve ever had a contemporary history reenactment.

“We are really looking forward to it. It’s going to be an entirely different experience to what we normally do.”

The idea for the event first came from Friends of Red House chairwoman Jacqueline Ryder.

But the setting could not accommodate the ambition of their plans, so they joined forces with Friends of Oakwell Hall – which boasts 110 acres – to host it together.

Activities at Oakwell are centred around the a military camp, and Red House will represent the home front.

Six groups of Hussars – light cavalry – are due to be on show, which will measure up and ‘recruit’ volunteers on the day.

At Oakwell Hall, a there will also be an actor playing a German prisoner of war for visitors to meet.

Visiting crowds will be wowed when a cavalry demonstration closes the event.

The World War One commemoration group Project Bugle will also play their part, manning a ‘war room’ containing, memorabilia and an exhibition about soldiers from Birstall

Project leader Tony Dunlop said it was a major event for the group, and invited members of the public to bring any memorabilia.

Bugle have become a well-known presence throughout Batley and Birstall for their monthly exhibitions about soliders who died during the First World War.

These are available to see in both Batley and Birstall’s libraries from the beginning of July.

The Friends of Oakwell Hall formed in 1988 to volunteer for the 16th century manor house.

They help at the hall during some Sundays during the summer and sometimes dressed in period costumes – fro events like Your Country Needs You. The event is free, but normal admission prices to the hall apply.