Village focus for war commemorations

The grave of Amy Beechey, where he five sons are also commemorated EMN-140624-082916001
The grave of Amy Beechey, where he five sons are also commemorated EMN-140624-082916001

The tiny village of Friesthorpe will become the focus of a moving commemoration to mark the First World War centenary this summer.

A series of ambitious performances will take place across Lincolnshire to remember the five Beechey brothers killed in action between 1915 and 1917.

Called Leaving Home, the project, will culminate in a unique outdoor spectacular in Friesthorpe, where the boys’ father was vicar until his death in 1912, on August 4, the 100th anniversary of when war was declared.

A collaboration between BBC Radio Lincolnshire and the University of Lincoln’s School of Performing Arts, the event will see 15 students and professional actors deliver a “promenade performance” as they move with the audience around the village and 13th century church.

And the performance will involve the massed ranks of the Royal Anglian Regimental Band, the Scunthorpe and District Pipe Band and the RAF College Cranwell Military Wives Choir.

“The story of the Beechey boys reminds us of the unimaginable suffering endured by the war generation, and is a fitting focus for our First World War Centenary commemorations here in Lincolnshire,” said BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Managing Editor, Charlie Partridge.

Frank Beechey, killed at the Somme in November 1916 aged 30 had been on the staff at De Aston School for some years.

His younger brother Harold had been a pupil at De Aston; he was killed in April 1917, aged 26.

In all, there are three strands to Leaving Home; the first is a radio drama, to be recorded at Boston and Louth Theatres in July, and the second a concert performance at the Arboretum in Lincoln.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire will broadcast the performances live or record them for later.

And tickets for all the events are free, but limited, and are available now.

Booking details:

July 14 - Blackfriars Arts Centre, Boston - or 01205 363108

July 17 - Riverhead Theatre, Louth - or 01507 600350

July 26 - Arboretum, Lincoln - or 01522 837600

August 4 - Friesthorpe village and church - or 01522 837600

All Leaving Home events will be recorded or broadcast live on BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

The radio dramas in a series of short episodes thropughout the week from Monday July 28.