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Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council showcased in World War I Centenary Commemoration

04 October 2018

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is featured as part of a national World War I commemoration during this anniversary year. Lilian Bland Community Park which has been designated as a Fields in Trust Centenary Field and protected as public green space in perpetuity, will be featured in the Centenary Fields Legacy Programme, to remember those who served and lost their lives during conflict and to say “Thank You” to the World War I Generation.

Fields in Trust will reveal the story of one Centenary Field each day in an online interactive map. On Thursday 4 October 2018 at 11am, Lilian Bland Community Park in Glengormley will be the featured Centenary Field.

The Centenary Fields legacy programme will run until the anniversary of Armistice Day on 11 November. This campaign is in delivered in partnership with the Royal British Legion’s “Thank You” project highlighting the nation’s gratitude to the generation who served in WWI. (see www.fieldsintrust.org/centenary-fields-legacy).

This UK-wide programme will showcase a series of community events and activities. The Fields in Trust Centenary Fields programme is working in partnership with The Royal British Legion to protect parks and green spaces in perpetuity as an innovative way to honour the memory of the World War I servicemen and also those, military and civilian, who played their part on the home-front to build a better life for the benefit of generations to come. Speaking at the launch of the Centenary Fields programme in 2014 Fields in Trust President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, said: “The Centenary Fields programme aims to save in perpetuity scores of memorial spaces around the country.  Each moment of play or leisure that takes place on a Memorial Field is, in a way, an act of remembrance. I am delighted that Fields in Trust have identified these Centenary Fields as a vital part of our national heritage and well-being, which we cannot take for granted.  I encourage local authorities to support this cause and to safeguard these living spaces of remembrance for generations to come.”

Centenary Fields protected as part of the programme include war memorials, parks and recreation grounds, memorial gardens, playing fields or other green spaces with a significant World War I link. Stories featured will highlight the contribution of individual combatants, those who returned – and many who did not. We will also look at memorials to the fallen, ranging from simple village stone cross to more intricate commemorative sculpture. We will explore how these parks and green spaces served the War effort – for example providing timber for trenches. We will also address the contemporary resonance – communities doing something now to remember the sacrifice of 100 years ago.

The Centenary Fields Legacy memorial project contributes to the Royal British Legion’s Thank You movement. These important spaces form a vital part of local heritage and play a key role in making the First World War relevant to today’s generation - fully embracing the spirit of this centenary year. Communities are encouraged to organise Thank You events in Centenary Fields throughout the year.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths comments:

I congratulate Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for being selected as part of our last 100 days showcase project. Lilian Bland Community Park is now included forever in our national programme to commemorate the centenary of World War I. This dedicated space not only in memory of the sacrifices of those who gave their lives during the conflict, but also to ensure that future generations have valuable green space to enjoy as a living legacy.”

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael, said: “We are delighted to participate in the Fields in Trust Centenary Fields programme to publicly demonstrate our gratitude to the World War I generation in this unique way. Protecting Lilian Bland Community Park means our local community will always have somewhere for play, sport, or a quiet moment of reflection and we are pleased to mark the protection of parks and green spaces across the UK in this, the final year of WWI centenary commemorations”.

Follow the Centenary Fields legacy campaign online www.fieldsintrust.org/centenary-fields-legacy or on social media #CFLegacy