First World War will come to life for Prestatyn screening


Geoff Abbott

A GROUP of Prestatyn historians are planning to bring the First World War to life for the screening of the National Theatre's War Horse.

The live stage performance will be shown at the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre on Thursday, February 27, accompanied by a week-long exhibition by the Prestatyn Living History Society.

The exhibition will be the first of a series of events to commemorate the centenary of conflict which took place between 1914-1918.

Artifacts including bayonets, rifles, grenades, medals and letters from the front line will be on show together with a fascinating insight into the soldiers who owned them.

The star of the launch starting at 5pm will be Welsh cob Mayan whose owner Ifor Roberts will be wearing the uniform of Colonel Roland Stuart Forestier-Walker who fought in the Great War.

The artifacts are owned by military historian Jed Bone who spent years researching the origins of the equipment.

Mr Bone appeared as an extra in the film Private Peaceful, written by author Michael Morpurgo, who also wrote War Horse.

"I want the youth to get involved in the commemorations because it's important to remember the people who served in the Great War," said Mr Bone.

"It was the start of modern warfare and soldiers were still using catapults to throw grenades over trenches and they used horses to charge machine guns.

"The cavalry would actually charge machine gun positions with swords and lances which was futile and most of the time they were mowed down."

Colonel Forestier-Walker who served with the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers won the Distinguished Service Order in 1916.

The tunic worn by Mr Roberts displays the rank of Colonel with several medals including the Queen's South African medal with three clasps.

The War Horse exhibition is being organised by Paul Young on behalf of the PLHS with the British Legion, 2193 Sqdn Air Cadets, Prestatyn High School and the fire service.

The National Theatre performance will be beamed live from London's West End to hundreds of cinemas around the world.

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