PUPILS at Collingbourne Ducis Primary School joined the village’s centenary commemoration of the First World War by helping out with the planting of a community orchard.

The orchard consists of 12 historic fruit trees, 11 of which are in memory of the 1914 Collingbourne “Pals” who died during the war.

The 12th, a peach tree, has been planted for today’s children and future generations.

The trees were planted recently by volunteers from a number of village groups and organisations and the parish council.

Advice and supervision, alongside expert pruning, was provided by Bryan Fox.

The children from the school surrounded the trees with traditional wild flowers, creating a 1914 meadow of red and white poppies, cornflower, scabious, cranesbill, oxeye daisy and many other varieties.

The orchard will be officially opened at a service conducted by the new vicar of the Collingbournes, the Rev Jo Reid on 4 August, the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War.

Collingbourne Parish Council vice-chairman, David Paterson, said: “This permanent community memorial will then continue to remind the villagers of Collingbourne Ducis of the sacrifice made by young men from a previous generation.”