CHILDREN from two Basingstoke schools were visited by Basingstoke MP Maria Miller to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War.

Mrs Miller, who is culture secretary, talked to children at Winklebury Infant and Junior Schools about the war and the role the borough’s women played in keeping the town running while servicemen were fighting.

Nearly 300 children from both schools also heard how famous fashion brand Burberry provided the coats to men battling in the conflict from its first store, which opened in Winchester Street, Basingstoke.

Mrs Miller said: “It is wonderful to come into our schools in Basingstoke to be able to talk to some of the pupils who have been studying the First World War and talk about how important it was in shaping Basingstoke and our ideas today.”

Christine Clayton, headteacher of the Federation of Winklebury Infant and Junior Schools, in Willoughby Way, said: “Maria Miller wrote to all the schools in the autumn term encouraging us to think about the centenary of the First World War and offering us the opportunity for her to talk to the children.

“It was a great idea for the children in terms of getting a Member of Parliament who represents the country and Basingstoke.”