Hundreds made their way across the site to join the memorial in honour of all servicemen and civilians who lost their life in the First World War, complete with hymns, readings and blessings, finishing with the national anthem.
The service was led by Reverend Dr. Michael Foster, the Great Dorset Steam Fair chaplain with officiating chaplain to the military, Reverend Andrew Rowland and The Right Reverend Dr. Graham Kings, Bishop of Sherborne, the VIP guests.
Reverend Andrew Rowland said: “It’s a special honour for all of us to be here commemorating the Great War of 1914-18. At this Great Dorset Steam Fair we delight in preserving historic engines, machines, vehicles, crafts, skills and hobbies – and sharing them with the public. There is something very special and holy in recreating and displaying artefacts and memories of WW1 as we are doing here.”
He continued: “As I walked through the displays I too was both fascinated and horrified and surely that is the whole purpose of commemoration.”
In tribute to the centenary anniversary of the First World War the Great Dorset Steam Fair hosted one of the biggest WW1 commemorative displays taking place in the UK this year. The exhibit was divided into three main areas – the Western Front, the Home Front and an exhibition marquee being shared with the National Traction Engine Trust, which is celebrating its 60th Anniversary.
Managing Director Martin Oliver said: “It is fitting that the show honoured the sacrifice that many millions gave during the 1914-18 conflict. The display and has been carefully and sensitively put together as our tribute to these people. I have personally found this year’s WW1 commemorative display to be the most interesting and poignant section I have ever worked on.”
Exhibits included a Horse Remount Depot, The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Living History Group, The LMS-Patriot Project known as ‘The Unknown Warrior’, steam engines, tractors, field guns, a tank, heavy artillery, cars, motorcycles, lorries, trucks, agricultural demonstrations and much more – all with unique WW1 stories to tell.