World War One commemorations

On the 25 April 2015 at 11am, Woking honoured and remembered one of the outstanding heroes of the First World War, Major Richard Willis VC in a special service and ceremony exactly 100 years to the day since his heroic action.

From 4 August 2014 and culminating on Armistice Day 2018, there will be major local, national and international commemorations marking the centenary of the First World War, which will focus on the millions of people affected both as combatants and on the home front.

This page outlines the local commemoration projects and events taking place across the area during this period and it will be updated regularly to highlight the Borough's and significant neighbouring events.

For those wishing to research the history and/or search for people associated with the war, this page also lists some useful links and research resources available.

Local projects

Woking Muslim Burial Ground

On Thursday 12 November 2015, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO, officially opened an Islamic-style Peace Garden at the beautifully restored Muslim Burial Ground in Horsell Common.

The site that was once the final resting place of 19 Muslim soldiers from the Great War, and a further eight casualties of the Second World War, has been restored to its former glory to create a lasting legacy for the 27 servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend Britain.

The four-year restoration project of this Grade II listed structure celebrates the Borough's relationship with the Shah Jahan Mosque, the first purpose-built mosque in the UK.

The site will be used as a garden of peace and remembrance, provide a focal point for future acts of commemoration and be a future heritage site for those living or visiting Woking.

Find out more information about this important site here.

Events, exhibitions and talks

Surrey-wide events

For more events commemorating the First World War in Surrey,  visit www.visitsurrey.com

Woking's poppies

To commemorate the centenary of the First World War and those who fell from within the Borough, communities have worked together to adorn local lampposts, trees, road signs and more, with large, striking poppies.

In the lead up to the centenary, Woking Borough Council bought a limited number of the poppies from the Royal British Legion and provided a small stock free of charge to interested community groups.

Useful links

Find out more about:

  • The First World War in Surrey, including research guides, educational resources and special events and projects, here.
  • Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers is a four year project, run by Surrey Heritage and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which aims to discover how the 1914-1918 conflict affected those left behind, in the county, on the Home Front.  The project team is on the look-out for stories about people and places.
  • Volunteering opportunities involved with the First World War projects here.
  • Funding opportunities for the First World War projects here.
  • Links to other local and national organisations associated with the First World War here.