VILLAGERS staged a three-day exhibition at St Michael’s Church to launch the commemorations of the start of World War I.

Shap Remembers was organised by Bill and Barbara Martindale with a team of helpers. Mr and Mrs Martindale have a long association with the Western Front Association and have carried out research over the years about the men from Shap who served in the war.

Countless newspaper cuttings, files, images and reproduction posters were on display alongside artwork by pupils from Shap school. There were also medals, badges and shell cases, a video of action from the war in the morning chapel and music from the period provided a background.

On the centenary weekend, a service was held in church, planned by the worship group to remember the Shap people affected by the conflict.

Elaine Allison then read a passage by Canon J John advising anyone passing a war memorial to focus on one name and reflect on the impact the loss had on his family During the first hymn Alysha Jackson, carrying a spray of white flowers, led a procession. Her sister Gabriella carried a union flag, and poppies and colours for the Cubs and Beavers were carried by Jacob Paul and Madison Bell. Ian McColm read Psalm 124 and Janet Wood read from Ecclesiastes.

The address by Mrs Jack-son included an enactment of the build-up of the sides, using flags of the nations.

She then spoke about the village with its traditional lifestyle and average local news at the beginning of August 1914.

The women's feelings at seeing their loved ones going off to war was illustrated with a poem by Margaret Cropper of Burneside, If My Lad's Shot, read by Jean Scott-Smith.

Mrs Jackson went on to talk about those survivors who rarely spoke about their experiences, and the horrors they witnessed. She ended with a prayer for peace throughout the world.

Prayers were led by Elsie Davidson, and Derrick Newsome read Wilfred Owen's poem The Send-off. Donations from the exhibition and service were in aid of Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.