MANY shops and businesses in Andover have this week put up ‘blue plaques’ in their windows to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War One Armistice.

The idea came from Advertiser columnist and local historian, Craig Fisher, who writes the Andover Remember the First World War series.

He said: “As I wrote the biographies of the 215 men from Andover and district commemorated on the town’s cenotaph, it became clear that not all of those lost to the conflict were from the poor working classes. Many of them came from commercial and professional backgrounds, either the owners or the sons of owners of shops and businesses in the town.

“I thought it would be a fitting tribute to those men to somehow remember them in the buildings in which they once lived and worked. So I came up with the idea of printed blue plaques giving basic service details for each of them, where and how they died and their ages. I’ve asked the modern occupiers of those buildings to put up the plaques, so that people walking past can see who lived there before they went off to war, never to return.”

Town centre visitors can follow a trail from Adelaide Road to Bridge Street.

The full list of participating shops and businesses is: Best-One (Adelaide Road), Parker Bullen Solicitors (Newbury Street), Light of Asia, Thomas Roskilly Hairdressing, Top Slots, G. Hatto Barbers, William Hill, Newbury Building Society, WH Smith, Lloyds Bank, Cancer Research Shop, The John Russell Fox, Hays Travel (High Street), A-Plan Insurance, The Vine Trust, Iceland, Wilko (Bridge Street), Chick-O-land (Winchester Street) plus the Southampton Arms (Winchester Road – reopens today), The Hare and Hounds (Charlton Down) and The Crown Inn (Upton).

Craig’s work will also be seen on Remembrance Sunday as a temporary plastic sign will be leant on the town’s war memorial to commemorate 16 others who died as a result of the First World War.

The idea was given the go-ahead in September but the Test Valley Borough has been unable to get the stone cut in time to mark the Armistice.

Community and leisure portfolio holder, Councillor Tony Ward said: “After dedicated research work from a local historian, the council, along with other partners, identified 16 names that should be added to the role of honour. Consultation on the permanent stone panel is underway and the council will require various permissions from organisations including the Winchester Diocese before the names can be added.

“We felt the best way to pay respect was to officially mark the adding of the names to the Andover War Memorial in a separate ceremony and we look forward to this.

“However, as this particularly poignant Remembrance Day approaches, and as a preview of what is to come, a temporary measure will be put in place, displaying these 16 names alongside the names of the 215 men and women currently listed on the memorial who each made the ultimate sacrifice.

“It is hoped the dedicated ceremony to add the 16 names will take place early in the new year.”