CHILDREN from Oswestry will use historic artifacts to pay their respects at an Armistice centenary commemoration.

Emma Samuels and Sophie Tins will use 100 year old whistles before the Last Post is played and a commemorative beacon is lit on Old Oswestry Hillfort on November 11.

Whistles were traditionally used on the frontline during the First World War as a signal to troops to go into battle.

As they proudly display the whistles, loaned by Oswestry Town Museum, the girls will reflect on the many lives lost as well as family relatives who served in WW1.

Emma, 13, is the great-great-granddaughter of John Bowen Thomas, a furniture remover from Oswestry.

While serving as an officer in the Shropshire Light Infantry, he was captured and imprisoned in Turkey after seeing five days of action on the battlefront with his horse.

As a prisoner of war he experienced many types of torture along with other comrades. Worst of all, he would reveal to relatives, was being forced to listen to a dripping tap when he and other prisoners were thirsty.

He was presumed dead, but eventually returned home to Oswestry where he died peacefully in February 1963.

Because of the lack of water during his captivity, the family always placed a jug of water on the table at every meal, whether it was drunk or not.

Emma is also a great-great-great-granddaughter of JE Thomas, who fought in the Great War and later worked as a manager in Oswestry.

She said: "They risked their young lives so that we could live in peace. Millions of soldiers as well as civilians lost their lives. It was a war to end all wars, but it was not so."

Sophie Tins, 10, is the great-great-granddaughter of William Hilton, who was born in the 1880s in Maryport, Cumbria.

Originally a member of the Cavalry Regiment, he was trained to fight on horseback, similar to the modern depiction of the riders in Michael Morpurgo’s book War Horse, which is also a play and film.

William had previously fought in the Boer War, and went on to serve again in the Second World War, working in an aerodrome.

He died in 1955.

Sophie said: "World War 1 was terrible, as over 16 million people died."

Synchronising with thousands of Armistice Day centenary events across the country, the Oswestry beacon is being organised by Oswestry Heritage Gateway in association with the Wilfred Owen Festival.

Accompanied by readings and music, the ceremony starts at 6.30pm on Gatacre playing field in the shadow of the hillfort.

People are being encouraged to bring a torch or other form of safe light (no naked flames) to form a First World War Remembrance Glow to honour soldiers and civilians who lost their lives or were injured during the conflict.

For more information, contact 01691 652 918 or search Old Oswestry Hillfort on Facebook.