join our WW1 commemoration on Sunday 24th August

On Sunday 24th August, the Trust will be holding a WW1 commemorative event at Roman Circus House and in the garden of the former Sergeants’ Mess next door.

The event is for the centenary of the start of British action (the Battle of Mons, 23rd-24th August 1914), for the XIVth Brigade Royal Field Artillery and the Battle of Le Cateau (26th August 1914), and for everyone who served in WW1. (The XIVth Brigade were stationed at the former Artillery Barracks in Colchester, where Roman Circus House is; they took part in the Battle of Le Cateau and, after WW1, the barracks were renamed the ‘Le Cateau Barracks’.) The historic former Sergeants’ Mess of the barracks (originally the Officers’ Mess, at the centre of the barracks) overlooks the garden.

Please join our commemoration and act of remembrance on the 24th August.

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The event details are:

Roman Circus House:
open day 10.30am-4.30pm, cafe open 10.30am-4.30pm with WW1-recipe cakes, small exhibition (including an audio of a soldier from the XIVth Brigade talking about WW1 and Le Cateau), and a stereoscopic viewer with 3-d photo.s of WW1 demonstrated by Shirley Hillyard. There will be a Colchester Royal British Legion stall, and a guided tour of the former Artillery Barracks at 1.00pm and 2.00pm led by Peter Hall – the surviving buildings of the barracks form a monumental memorial to all the men who were stationed in the barracks for nearly 100 years, and their service around the British empire and in many conflicts, including the two World Wars. The junior ‘Generation’ Corps of Drums from Harwich will perform a drum tattoo at 3.00pm and 3.30pm.

the garden of the former Sergeants’ Mess:
4.00pm – a concert of songs and poems by two local soloists Fiona Morris and Natasha Bennett, including ‘Pie Jesu’, with Tim Freeman M.C.-ing and reading the poems, plus the Concord Singers
The Colchester Royal British Legion Standard-bearer will present their Standard:
4.30pm – drumhead religious service led by Father Richard Tillbrook of St Barnabas’ Church, with ‘The Last Post’ played by bugler Ellie Bould from the Harwich Royal British Legion brass band, a two-minutes’ silence, and ‘Reveille’ by the bugler.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Colchester will be introduced to the volunteers helping at the event and attend the concert and the drumhead service.

Entry is free. Please bring your own garden chair to the garden of the Sergeants’ Mess if you would like a seat, and perhaps an umbrella! The nearest car-park is at Butt Road; other car-parks are at Napier Road and at the corner of Napier Road and Mersea Road.


We have also purchased a copy of the unit war diary of the XIVth Brigade from the National Archives and we will be posting the daily entries online from the 22nd August, 100 years to the day of each entry (copyright National Archives).