Multi-million-pound living history attraction planned for Hemingford Abbots

Lest We Forget will recreate a World War One trench

Lest We Forget will recreate a World War One trench - Credit: Archant

Ambitious plans to build a multi-million-pound living history centre that will recreate the conditions for soldiers preparing for the battlefields of the First World War will be submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council next month.

Ambitious plans to build a multi-million-pound living history centre that will recreate the conditions for soldiers preparing for the battlefields of the First World War will be submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council next month.

The company behind the proposal, Lest We Forget Ltd, has purchased 45 acres of land, including the former golf course at Hemingford Abbots, and aims to build a First World War training camp, complete with four acres of authentically reconstructed trenches. There will also be Allied and German ‘front lines’ and a ‘no-man’s land’, and visitors will be given an insight into trench warfare, kit inspections and even the food the men would have eaten.

The Great War Experience, which is expected to create up to 100 jobs and could open early next year, will probably attract about 350,000 visitors per year, say its creators.

Company director Tony Cooke told The Hunts Post the thinking behind the educational project was to dispel some of the myths surrounding the history of the conflict and pay tribute to the sacrifice made by the millions of men who came home from war.


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“We want people to see the conditions of the training camps and understand how these men prepared for what lay ahead of them,” said Mr Cooke.

Mr Cooke and his business partner Kevin Jepson will host a public meeting at Hemingford Abbots Village Hall on Friday in the hope of allaying any concerns from local people about an increase in traffic and the numbers of people expected to visit the site.

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Esther Harrod, who lives in the neighbouring village of Hemingford Grey, said: “It’s going to prove a controversial application as far as residents are concerned, particularly because of traffic implications.”

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