Historic Wrest Park near Bedford to host launch of this year’s Poppy Appeal

Wrest Park, Silsoe, will host  the Bedfordshire Poppy Appeal on Saturday, October 26
Wrest Park, Silsoe, will host the Bedfordshire Poppy Appeal on Saturday, October 26

Wrest Park will host the launch of The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal in Bedfordshire on Saturday .

This year, the ‘Remembrance’ campaign will mark the end of the First World War centenary, withWrest Park chosen for the special part it played in the conflict.

The property, in Silsoe, became England’s first wartime country house hospital just a few weeks after the First World War began.

It was one of the first country houses to be offered to Winston Churchill – by its owner Auberon Herbert – as a place to treat wounded servicemen.

By September 7, 1914, it had been transformed into a convalescent hospital and was ready to welcome its first patients. It then functioned as an auxiliary hospital before being forced to close after a fire on September 14, 1916.

The launch event will be attended by local dignitaries and Royal British Legion members, along with the Ampthill Armistice 100 team who will be presenting a cheque to the charity.

There will be a two-minute silence at the event with wreaths laid at the foot of a Silent Soldier.

Over the last six months visitors to Wrest Park have been writing personal tributes and memorials on pairs of footprints, with each pair representing a soldier who passed through the rehabilitation hospital and these will be on display for visitors to view.

The event takes place from 10am. Visit: www.english
-heritage.org.uk/wrest