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Laidley to repeat Call to Arms march 100 years on

CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS: Laidley Pioneer Village will re-issue the First World War call-to -arms on August 2.
CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS: Laidley Pioneer Village will re-issue the First World War call-to -arms on August 2. Contributed

WHEN the First World War broke out, a call to arms was issued in Laidley, and 100 years later that call is being repeated.

On August 4, 1914, the day Britain declared war on Germany, all corners of the Empire held recruitment marches and now on Saturday, August 2, 2014, the Laidley Pioneer Village is replicating the local recruitment march with the help of the Lockyer Valley Light Horse Troop.

Laidley Pioneer Village president John Barwell said Laidley's event would likely be the largest such event in Queensland to commemorate the start of the Great War.

"There will be a re-enactment of the original recruitment march in Laidley on the closest day we could get to the 100th anniversary," Mr Barwell said. "We'll have the Salvation Army Band leading the march like they did a 100 years ago and we'll have two dozen Light Horse members from as far as Warwick and Boonah."

Mr Barwell said they would have others along the street dressed up as butchers, bakers and the like who would join the march as it paraded down Patrick St.

"We are also hoping to have the Grades 1 and 2 of Kalbar State School and their teachers dressed up in period costume and we are encouraging the public to come along dressed up in 1914 clothing."

The march will form up outside the Laidley Police Station at 9am and head down the main street to the Cenotaph.

From there buses will run to the Pioneer Village for the ceremonies, which begin at 10.30am.

Mr Barwell said there would be a flag-raising and firing party like there was 100 years ago.

"Then we will put our 'recruits' to a medical test and we'll do marching drills," he said.

"We'll also have a minister on hand to perform quick marriage ceremonies for those about to head to war."

Mr Barwell said festivities would then move across the road to the cricket oval where the Light Horse would set up their traditional bell tent.

"They'll have sandbags and machine guns and re-enact what they did at training camps like skill at arms and tent pegging," he said.

Mr Barwell said he hoped it would be the first of four similar anniversary marches for each year of the war.

"Next year we want to recreate the famous Dungaree March of 1915," he said.

Dungaree marches were held across Australia ahead of the first Anzac Day.

In Queensland recruits marched from Warwick to Brisbane via Toowoomba, Laidley and Ipswich.

Topics:  call to arms, first world war, laidley


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