THE Earl and Countess of Carnarvon will mark the 100th year anniversary of the First World War with a special one day event at Highclere Castle.
Heroes at Highclere will take place on Sunday, August 3, and the event will support and raise money for The Royal British Legion, ABF The Soldiers Charity, Combat Stress and Oxfam, in addition to other smaller charities.
The day’s events will begin at 11am with a special church service led by former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey accompanied by the Military Wives Choir on the main stage.
Headlining the stage will be X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.
Other musical events will include a performance by one of the stars of Downton Abbey, the hit ITV1 costume drama which is partly filmed at, and was inspired by, Highclere Castle. Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Lady Cora, will perform with her band Sadie and the Hot Heads.
Below: Elizabeth McGovern (centre) as Lady Cora in Downton Abbey
Thrilling aerial displays will include an appearance by the Red Devils, a fly-pass by the DeHavilland Tiger 9, followed by The Great War Team re-enacting dog fights. The iconic Spitfire will grace the skies with a Mustang and B17 following close behind.
The ‘Bayer’ sponsored arena will have displays from the Army, Hounds Help Heroes in addition to a celebrity football veterans match.
Some players from the Bayer Leverkusen team, currently playing in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system, will face an England All Stars Team in a tribute to the famous Christmas truce of 1914, where German and English troops played a friendly game in no man’s land.
Visitors will be able to step back in time with over 200 re-enactors in period costumes appearing in a living history village, working in ‘field kitchens’ and patrolling the grounds as WW2 military police.
In the music tent West Berkshire Brewery will be serving traditional ales using war time recipes, and an additional music and dance area will host performances from the Spitfire Sisters and Newbury Rock Choir. 1920s music and dance lessons will take place all day.
In the Speakers Tent, hear renowned BBC war correspondent Kate Adie talking about her book Fighting On The Home Front: The Legacy of Women In World War One and Lady Carnarvon telling the story of the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.
Family entertainment will include vintage fairground rides, themed catering and a shopping village, and hot air balloons will be giving tethered flights.
Children will be able to pedal in miniature Spitfires and Lancaster planes, ride simulators, battle through an assault course, brave the mini parachute jump and fly on zip lines.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet current serving RAF pilots and see static displays from a Chinook, Lynx and Apache.
Over 40 vintage and military vehicles and 100 motorbikes from the Royal British Legion Riders Branch will frame the event area.
Lady Carnarvon said: “We hope as a result of this day at Highclere, to make a positive contribution to the lives of those in the war zones today, to help them in their struggles to cope with what they have suffered and to demonstrate our support for them.”
Tickets are available online at highclerecastle.co.uk.