Thame Remembers campaign thank The Players Theatre for support with donation

David Bretherton, Pat Shepherd, Mike Dyer
David Bretherton, Pat Shepherd, Mike Dyer

The Thame Remembers project has thanked The Players Theatre with a funding boost for supporting its campaign.

Members of the steering group of Thame Remembers, a community project commemorating the centenary of the First World War, made a generous donation of £750 to Thame Players Theatre Company at the theatre.

The donation was made in recognition of the enthusiastic support and assistance given by Thame Players to the Thame Remembers project during its four-year campaign.

The objective of the campaign was to commemorate the centenary of the First World War by researching all the names on Thame war memorials, identifying the location of their grave or memorial and placing a Thame Remembers cross on each resting place wherever in the world that may be.

The people of Thame rose magnificently to this challenge and the lives of 212 men lost in warfare from the Boer War to the present were commemorated during the four years 2014-18, leading up to the centenary of the Armistice in November 2018.

The Players Theatre was involved in this campaign during two of those years, by working with Thame Remembers to stage two innovative theatre productions commemorating aspects of the First World War.

The first production was performed on July 1, 2016, commemorating the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The second, entitled Ten Tommies from Thame, was performed on November 9-10, 2018 to sell-out audiences on both evenings. Ten Tommies from Thame was written by Thame Remembers steering group members Mike Dyer and Catherine Jones and performed partly by seasoned actors from Thame Players Theatre Company and partly by amateurs who had never been on stage before.

The production was made possible by Thame Players letting out the theatre without a hire fee and by providing stage management, lighting, back projection, sound and front of house functions, all on an entirely voluntary basis.

On presenting a cheque donation of £750 to Pat Shepherd, chairman of Thame Players, Thame Remembers steering group leader David Bretherton said: “Thame Players have been extremely generous with their time and their resources, both for the Somme production in 2016 and for Ten Tommies from Thame in November last year. We could not have achieved what we did without their invaluable help and support. Both shows were a fantastic success and will linger on in people’s minds for many years to come. They enabled us to put across a powerful visual representation of the horrors of this conflict and the part that people from Thame played in it.”

Thame Remembers has just been presented with the Mayor of Thame’s Special Award at the 11th Thame Town Awards, held on March 14. The award was in recognition of its members’ extensive efforts to mark the centenary of the First World War in Thame. Although the key objectives of the Thame Remembers campaign have been achieved, their educational talks continue to be in demand and research – into those who went to war and returned – continues, involving future generations who can continue their pioneering work.