Great War and more explored at Cannock Chase Military Weekend

Families and historians will get the chance to experience centuries of war tales and activities at the Cannock Chase annual Military History Weekend.

The free event will take place on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 August at Marquis Drive Visitor Centre and is being organised by Staffordshire County Council.

The event will include recreations of military life from the Anglo-Saxon period through to the present day. Children will get the chance to take part in army drills, people will also have the opportunity to fire air rockets, handle replica period kit and weapons and talk to local military historians.

Visitors will also get the chance to see inside the Great War hut, a genuine officers mess from 1915 and staffed with knowledgeable volunteers, able to answer any questions people may have about Cannock Chase during the Great War and the role the hut played in the history of the camps.’

Cllr Mike Lawrence, Cabinet member for Children and Community Safety at Staffordshire County Council said: “This annual event has gone from strength to strength over recent years. Cannock Chase is steeped in history and much of it military, from the Anglo Saxons right up to the WWI training camps on the Chase where over 500,000 troops were trained for the Great War. This military legacy is echoed today in the remains of the camps and in the Commonwealth and German War Cemeteries on the Chase.

“Our Military Weekend at Marquis Drive offers a real insight into Staffordshire’s connections to war, and how soldiers lived and trained throughout history. With the Chase as the perfect backdrop and the weekend’s many interactive events and displays it promises to be a great family day out.”

The weekend is taking place at a time when Stafford prepares to welcome over 1,000 armed forces personnel and their families from two Signals Regiments from Germany. Beacon Barracks is already home to 22 Signal Regiment, and the relocation will see the site become a major centre for the Royal Signals. The move of troops to the town is expected to provide a £90m boost to the local economy and create around 700 jobs.

The event runs from 10am to 4pm on both days. For more information call 01782 632350, visit http://cannockchasemilitaryhistory.weebly.com/ or follow us on Facebook (under CANNOCK CHASE MILITARY HISTORY). Any money raised through collections on the days will go to the Help for Heroes charity.