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CRANLEIGH Parish Council in Surrey marked the 100th anniversary of the consecration of its war memorial with a small socially distanced service in late December. The memorial was originally consecrated on 5 December 1920 by the Revd Philip Cunningham, and members of his family were able to attend the service and lay a wreath. Council chairman Cllr Liz Townsend laid a wreath on behalf of the town. The Royal British Legion gave an overview of the memorial’s history, followed by The Exhortation and a two-minute silence, and a lone singer sang Abide With Me.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2021

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Volunteers and councillors planted a tree in the Memorial Garden in BROSELEY, Shropshire in December in recognition of local people who have assisted those in need during the Covid-19 lockdown. The tree selected was a cherry, Prunus Amanogawa, and Broseley Memorials donated a granite plaque with an inscription to celebrate all the hard work and effort put in during a very difficult year.
The town council thanked everyone “for your courage, your kindness, your hard work and most of all your support for one another”. The mayor, Cllr Tarlochen Singh-Mohr, planted the tree with Cllr Caroline Bagnall, Julia Sockett and Joan Banks, who came up with the idea.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2021

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The mayor of THATCHAM in Berkshire, Cllr Mike Cole, unveiled a commemorative blue plaque in October, the third in a series of planned annual installations. The plaque commemorates Harry Lester, an engineer who designed revolutionary lightweight frames for motorcycles before turning his attention to MG cars. Lester MGs were marketed as “improved” production cars, and he also developed vehicles for international sports car racing, predominantly for the Monkey Stables racing team. Cllr Cole presented a framed certificate to Phoebe Mitchell of Wiltshire Tyres, which occupies Lester’s old premises in Thatcham. Also in attendance was author Stewart Penfound, who wrote a book about Lester, with one of the last Lester MGs ever made.

Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2021

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CENTENARY EVENT DELAYED FOR A YEAR
NEW MILTON Town Council in Hampshire has had to postpone a planned centenary celebration of its war memorial until next year. The memorial was unveiled on 26 September 1920 and carries the names of 223 people who died in the two world wars. The amenities committee has proposed the planting of a Centenary Rose Garden to mark the anniversary.

On 23 August the town marked the 80th anniversary of its worst wartime bombing raid, when 25 people were killed. There were further raids in August 1942 and January 1943, when another six people died.
The 31 victims are commemorated by the New Milton Memorial Clock, and each year at a community event their names are read out and attendees reflect on the lives lost. This year, however, social restrictions saw the event move online to the council’s website and social media channels, plus a news story in the New Milton Advertiser.

Clerks & Councils Direct, November 2020

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MEMORIAL BENCH
The market town of SHIFNAL in Shropshire has a new memorial bench to commemorate the fallen, created by two local residents. Steve Elliman and Mark Coates, who both work for ACS Fabrications in Telford, designed and manufactured the bench, which was installed at the end of June. Its design includes red and purple poppies, signifying the men and women who died fighting in two world wars and also the animals, such as horses and pigeons.

Mark Coates said: “Community is very important to us, and by producing this bench we feel we have given something to the town.” He is pictured with his daughter and with Steve Elliman, along with members of the Shifnal branch of the Royal British Legion, the Revd Chris Thorpe and the mayor, Cllr Robert Harrop.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2020

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LASTING REMINDER OF COVID RESILIENCE
WORKINGTON Town Council in Cumbria and local company R.A.F General Engineering Ltd are working together to create a garden of remembrance for the loss and sacrifice experienced during the Covid-19 crisis. The garden will be located in Vulcan Park and the council is proposing to call it the Nightingale Garden, though alternative suggestions from the public are welcome.

The centrepiece for the garden was the idea of Rafal Gibki, managing director of R.A.F General Engineering, in collaboration with monument designer Steve Marshall. It aims to reflect the community’s resolve to overcome the crisis, with a pair of hands echoing the help of key workers and the weekly tribute during the darkest days of lockdown.
The town’s mayor, Cllr Janet King, said: “The garden will be a space for quiet reflection as we move forward through this crisis. It will act as a place of remembrance for those who we have lost and as a site of respect for the key workers who have sacrificed so much.”

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2020

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HOLTON LE CLAY Parish Council in Lincolnshire has purchased a Silent Soldier and a Roll of Honour lectern that lists all the soldiers from the village who were captured, injured or killed in action during the First World War. It has also purchased a commemorative bench with the help of a donation of £400 from Cllr Mik Boon. Local firms provided materials for the bench and installed it free of charge, while a resident donated several ornamental poppies to complete the display. The village’s WWI memorial is situated opposite its WWII RAF memorial. Parish clerk Emma Harris said: “We are incredibly proud of the work that has gone into making the memorial site a peaceful and pleasant place to visit and reflect on the sacrifices that were made during the two World Wars.”

 Clerks & Councils Direct, November 2019

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PEACE GARDEN

The Mayor of KIRTON IN LINDSEY in Lincolnshire, Cllr Pat Frankish, is raising funds through her chosen charity to develop land near the town’s war memorial into a peace garden. The War Memorial and Garden of Edward Elmhirst Duckering charity holds in trust the land on which the memorial stands. Donations received during the year will kickstart a fund to establish the peace garden.

Clerks & Councils Direct, November 2019

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HONOURING LINKS WITH INDIAN ARMY

NEW MILTON Town Council in Hampshire hosted a New Milton Remembers event at the Indian Memorial Obelisk, Barton on Sea, on 10 July. The mayor, Cllr Alvin Reid, welcomed guests including the Deputy Lord Lieutenant and representatives of the High Commission of India and Sikh Council Hampshire, along with local schools and residents. A procession was followed by a service and the laying of wreaths. Goff Beck of the Royal British Legion was presented with a small kirpan sword in recognition of his work in organising the event and last year’s inaugural service, which marked the 101st anniversary of the obelisk, one of only two freestanding Indian Army memorials in the UK. The Sikh Council has worked closely with the town to arrange the services, which are now included in the annual civic diary as an official event.

Clerks & Councils Direct, September 2019

 

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FIVEHEAD Parish Council in Somerset has rededicated its village war memorial, after being awarded a grant of almost £2,000 by the War Memorials Trust for renovation work. The memorial commemorates 14 men from the village who lost their lives in both World Wars. Nearly 100 people attended the ceremony on the village green on 26 May. The date marked the centenary of the deaths of Lance Corporal Frank Male and Lance Bombardier George Chorley, the last two men from the village to die in WWI. Relatives attended from all over the country and wreaths were laid by parish council chairwoman Cllr Kate Beacham and Col (Retd) Tony Potter on behalf of the Royal British Legion. Rector Scott Patterson conducted the service, and the last post was sounded by Petty Offcer Chris Palucsis of the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band. An ebook has been published to honour those who fought in both wars, with proceeds going to the RBL. Fivehead’s Military Men by Pip Brett tells the stories of those who lost their lives and those who survived.

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2018

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HAWARDEN Community Council has placed a “Silent Solder” silhouette opposite its war memorial to commemorate the end of WWI. The silhouette was a “thank you” from the Royal British Legion after Hawarden donated £250, the frst community council in Flintshire to do so. It stands as a tribute to those who did not return home from the Great War. The council chairman, Cllr Alan Diskin, said: “The First World War was a human disaster, and therefore it’s extremely important to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ending of the conflict. The Silent Soldier campaign serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifce made by so many, including from the Hawarden community.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2018

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BARDNEY Group Parish Council in Lincolnshire has installed new benches to commemorate the two World Wars. The benches, manufactured by Scottish company David Ogilvie Engineering, have been placed on the edge of the village green, looking towards the parish war memorial. Council chairman Cllr Robert Webb said: “The council was delighted to f nd the WWI bench, which clearly depicts those who served. We then discovered a further design which honours those who fought in the Second World War. Bardney has strong military links and played a role in the war effort, so it was f tting that the second bench was also purchased.” Pictured are Cllrs Charles Shaw, Malcolm Speed, Sally Zubic, John Zubic and vice-chairman Robin Darby with the WWI bench.

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2018

FUNDING DRIVE FOR MEMORIAL GARDEN

HUNTINGTON Parish Council in Cannock, Staffordshire is fundraising for a community project, the Huntington Memorial Garden. According to Cllr Scott Allport, the project involves moving a large mining wheel from its current location to Littleton Green in the middle of the village on land formerly used by Littleton Colliery, which closed 25 years ago. A memorial garden will be created around the wheel to remember both former miners and those who fell in the two World Wars. Their names will be etched into individual bricks, which residents can purchase. The bricks will form the foundations of a monument and will also be placed within the garden. Information boards on Huntington’s history will be erected, and people will also be able to get involved through a community gardeners scheme. The project is expected to cost in excess of £100,000, and the parish council has donated £20,000 towards this. Engraved bricks cost £30 and residents can make pledges via engraved paving stones, plaques, remembrance trees and benches, along with merchandise ranging from enamel pin badges to framed photographs

Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2018

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FEATHERSTONE in West Yorkshire has secured a £50,000 grant from funding body WREN for a WWI memorial sculpture entitled “War Horse, A Place of Peace To Be Together”. The money, from the FCC Community Action Fund, will fund work by artists Cod Steaks at the Mill Pond Meadows Nature Reserve. The idea for the sculpture stemmed from a research project funded through the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, which resulted in a book, Featherstone in the First World War. With the aid of the Woodland Trust, a schools engagement project saw a commemorative wood planted in 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of war. In total 353 trees have been planted, one for each resident who lost their life. The War Horse will be a “long-lasting commemorative artwork of regional and national significance”, according to the council. A successful application to Arts Council England recently funded a period of community engagement with local schools and residents. An artist’s impression shows how the monument will look when completed.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2018

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SEAFORD Town Council in East Sussex has won Grade II listing for its main war memorial. The memorial, one of three in the town, is a tall example of a granite wheel-head cross and was unveiled in 1921. It commemorates 104 members of the local community and also seven men who died on service during the Second Boer War. Later inscriptions were added for 88 service personnel and 20 civilians who died in WWII. In 1952 it was moved from its original site on Dane Road to its current location on Sutton Park Road and was rededicated.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2018

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Cllr Cathie Watkins, a member of BARLESTONE Parish Council in Leicestershire, and her husband have been creating imaginative Remembrance tributes for the past few years. The area used to have widespread coal mining activity and many villages have a pit wheel as a memorial to this. The couple started decorating the Barlestone pit wheel, which is around 12 feet in diameter, in 2014 for Remembrance Day. They also decorate the cemetery gates and this will be done again in November 2018, with a different theme. The wheel is pictured in 2017. Cllr Watkins said: “I’m the one with the sling. Fortunately the wheel had been decorated by the time I broke my collarbone just prior to Remembrance Sunday.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2018

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WESTON-SUPER-MARE Town Council in Somerset has received a grant of £6,200 from the Memorials Grants Scheme to restore its Grove Park War Memorial. The scheme is supported by the First World War Memorials Programme, run by the War Memorials Trust, and Historic England. Work will include the casting of a new bronze olive branch to replace a missing original, and the angel statue will be patinated to restore its original colour. The plinth will benefit from repointing, restoration of the plaques and microcrystalline wax coatings. It is hoped to complete the work in time for the centenary. The project is being led by the town council, with support from North Somerset Council and Weston Civic Society. The work will be carried out by specialist contractor Richard Rogers Conservation of Leatherhead, Surrey.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2018


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GRANTS FUND HERITAGE SCHEMES

WORKINGTON Town Council in Cumbria has won initial support of £33,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to progress plans for the restoration of Jane Pit as a memorial to local mine workers. The aim is to apply for full grant funding for the project in 2019. Jane Pit closed in 1875 but is still a strong reminder of the town’s mining past. Plans include restoring the pit head, formal grounds maintenance and interpretative displays and lighting. The council is proposing to host community activities to engage young people with local history and to promote volunteer opportunities, in partnership with Workington Heritage Group and Allerdale Borough Council. Cllr Antony McGuckin said: “We do not want to lose this remaining physical evidence of the importance of coal mining. We are concerned that knowledge of how mining has shaped Workington’s development will be lost if we do not preserve this monument.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2018

SILENT SOLDIERS TO MARK ANNIVERSARY

NEW MILTON Town Council is supporting the Royal British Legion Hampshire & Isle of Wight Silent Soldier campaign to mark the centenary anniversary of the end of WWI. Silent Soldiers are life-size silhouettes that will stand at locations around the town in November and December 2018. Town clerk Graham Flexman said: “Silent Soldiers will appear on buildings, in gardens of remembrance, at roundabouts and entrances to the town.” The council is encouraging local groups, organisations and individuals to support the campaign, and silhouettes can be sponsored at a cost of £250 each. The town will hold its Remembrance Day Parade and wreath-laying ceremony on 11 November at the War Memorial Recreation Ground, and in the evening residents will join the national Battle’s Over event with the lighting of a beacon at Barton cliff-top.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2018

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Service commemorates bombing raid NEWBURY held a service at St John’s Church on 11 February to commemorate the 75th anniversary of a wartime bombing raid that killed 15 people, injured many more and destroyed a large part of the Berkshire town. A German plane attacked on 10 February 1943, dropping four large bombs and six smaller ones and opening fire with machine guns. The Senior Council School, St Bartholomew’s Almshouses, Southampton Terrace and St John’s Church itself were destroyed. Some 265 dwellings were damaged and many were later demolished. The service included the stories of elderly residents who remembered the raid, including Tony Wheeler (pictured with Cllr Margo Payne). Afterwards, there was a procession from the church to the Memorial Stone in St John’s Gardens, where flowers were laid in memory of those who lost their lives. The town’s mayor, Cllr David Fenn, said: “It has been very moving to hear the reminiscences of some of the people who witnessed the bombing, and it is a miracle that more people were not killed. Had the bomb dropped prior to the school finishing time who knows how many more people could have been killed and injured.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2018

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Left to right: Cllr Mike Cosgrove, deputy clerk Adrienne Begent, clerk Louise Bareham, Cllr Shiel Campbell, Cllr Claire Belsom and Tom Gates, president of Faversham Royal British Legion

BUNTING PROJECT TO HONOUR WAR DEAD

The mayor of FAVERSHAM in Kent, Cllr Shiel Campbell, officially launched the town’s World War I Bunting Project on 13 October. The project will commemorate all 243 local men who lost their lives during the Great War. Relatives, individuals and groups have been invited to make a piece of bunting, which will include the name of each person in a design of their choice. The completed bunting will be displayed during November 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of the war. Cllr Mike Cosgrove said: “The town council's 2018 centenary commemorations have begun with the launch of two major projects, bunting with the names of each serviceman killed and a public appeal to set their names in stone in the memorial garden.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2018

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Employees from local firm Merck used community time to help with the planting

NEW TREES TO BE A LASTING ASSET

An avenue of 50 trees was planted on public open space in GILLINGHAM in Dorset on 15–16 November by town council grounds staff and volunteers. Twenty common oaks and 30 poplars were planted at Lower Lodden and Ham Farm. In medieval times, Gillingham Royal Forest was a hunting area and timbers from its trees were used in royal palaces and for shipbuilding. The new trees fall within the boundary of the Royal Forest and will serve as a living heritage feature and a valuable amenity asset. The project was funded with developer money, and local business also contributed. The mayor, Cllr Belinda Ridout, said: “The tree planting coincides with the commemoration of the end of WWI, so the trees will be a memorial to all the local people who lost their lives in the Great War.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2018


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POPPY MILE FOR ARMISTICE DAY

WITNEY in Oxfordshire is planning to commemorate the end of WWI on Armistice Day 2018 with a “poppy mile” of handmade poppies. The town’s heritage is based on the wool trade, and residents are being encouraged to knit, embroider or crochet poppies to line the route that its young men would have taken as they left for the war (actually about a quarter of a mile).

A Witney embroidery group is stitching poppies and the idea has received a lot of support from individuals and knitting groups in neighbouring towns and villages, with the message spreading via social media. Councillors have been challenged to knit or crochet a poppy themselves, with support from West Witney WI and the Forget- Me-Knot knitting group. Coffee mornings are being arranged so that others can take part.

Cllr Chris Holliday, chairman of the WWI working party, said: “We will be unveiling a new memorial to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. It will be a great opportunity on 11 November 2018 for Witney to remember the ordinary people, leading ordinary lives, who marched this route as they went to war. Their sacrifice gave us the freedoms we all enjoy today.

Clerks & Councils Direct, November 2017

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A FORMER mayor of KNUTSFORD in Cheshire, Cllr Vivien Davies, has been honoured with a lasting memorial in the form of an English oak tree. The tree was planted by her husband John and by the current mayor, Cllr Jan Nicholson. Cllr Davies, who passed away in 2015, was a town and borough councillor for many years and also chairman of Friends of the Moor, where the tree is located.

Cllr Nicholson said: “It was good to remember all the commitment Vivien had given to numerous organisations in Knutsford and the tree will be a lasting testament to this.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2017

OSWESTRY Town Council in Shropshire and local community group Lights Out Trefonen have commissioned a statue of World War I poet Wilfred Owen, who was born near the town in 1893. The statue will stand near the memorial gates to Cae Glas Park and will be unveiled next year during a festival to mark Owen’s death and the end of the conflict in November 2018.

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2017


HAGLEY Parish Council in Worcestershire has successfully applied to the Woodland Trust for a donation of 30 trees, including silver birch, rowan and wild cherry. It is hoped that two of the saplings can be planted at the War Memorial in time for Armistice Day, while others will form a memorial avenue at the parish cemetery in tribute to the fallen from the two World Wars.

SEAFORD Town Council in East Sussex has worked with Fields in Trust to secure its Sutton Park Road War Memorial as a Centenary Field to honour those who died in World War I. The memorial was first erected in 1921, and has been on its present site since 1952.

 Clerks & Councils Direct November 2016


TWO benches marking the sacrifice of soldiers in the two World Wars were installed in the memorial garden at Gwersyllt War Memorial in August. Those attending the official unveiling included representatives of veterans’ associations, the mayor of Wrexham and chairman of GWERSYLLT Community Council Cllr Bernie McCann and Wrexham Council’s armed forces champion and Gwersyllt councillor David Griffiths. Cllr Griffiths said that the steel benches would provide a fitting place for people to reflect peacefully. They were manufactured by David Ogilvie Engineering Ltd of Kilmarnock and have been treated to prevent corrosion.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2016

FLAGPOLE ROW SPLITS VILLAGE

PARISH councillors and Royal British Legion volunteers are at war in the west Norfolk village of DERSINGHAM over the management of the village’s recreation ground area, in particular a fl agpole next to the war memorial. A trio of volunteers known as the “Memorial Three” have looked after the pole for the last two years after money was donated through the RBL by relatives of fallen servicemen.

However, the parish council has written to ask them to “donate” the flagpole or see it removed and replaced with one of its own. Chairman Cllr Sue Payne pointed out that the fl agpole was on council-owned land and said: “We are trying to formalise the use of our recreation ground and the war memorial is part of it.”

The dispute has escalated since the volunteers flew the Union flag upside down as a sign of distress at the council’s alleged treatment of them when they organised a classic car show to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. However, Cllr Payne accused the Legion of a “lack of communication” over its plans.

The Dersingham and Sandringham branch of the RBL has threatened to seek a court injunction to stop the council. Its chair, Valerie Brundle, one of the Memorial Three and also a parish councillor, said: “It’s totally wrong, it doesn’t belong to them and it doesn’t really belong to the British Legion. We’re only custodians. It’s got to stop. It’s like a dictatorship. If you’re ever in North Korea it’s a different matter, but this is England.

Clerks & Councils Direct July 2016

KNITTING THE TOWN RED 

Lesley Fudge, the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal manager for WARMINSTER, is asking knitters to support her in “yarn bombing” the Wiltshire town in the fortnight leading up to Remembrance Sunday. She wants to continue the project for the next two years, for the duration of the WWI centenary commemorations.

The yarn bombing involves knitting or crocheting poppies, which can be attached to street furniture such as lamp-posts and benches. The idea is to highlight the Remembrance Day parade route with as many poppies as possible. Ms Fudge also wants to embroider the names of all those listed on Warminster’s war memorial onto labels with poppies to attach to the memorial bench.

The council’s Town Development Committee voted unanimously in favour of the project. Cllr Paul Macfarlane said: “This is a fantastic idea and will be great for the town, which has always shown such support for the Remembrance commemorations.”

 Clerks & Councils Direct May 2016

GREAT WYRLEY Parish Council in Staffordshire may have to replace a plaque on the gates of its First World War memorial garden after research by a local historian discovered that many of the names of the fallen were incorrect. According to Paul Ford, archivist at Walsall Local History Centre, birth certificates and newspaper cuttings showed that 11 of the 25 names were wrongly spelled or had extra initials, while another name was missing. The problem arose when the original gates were stolen during refurbishment in the 1980s, and a replacement plaque was made using photographs. Cllr Ron Myatt said: “We have approved funding in the budget to hopefully enable the changes to be made.”

 

Clerks & Councils Direct March 2016

FIT HONOUR FOR BUCKS PARISH

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IN October 2015, STONE WITH BISHOPSTONE AND HARTWELL Parish Council (SBHPC) in Buckinghamshire entered into a Deed of Dedication with Fields in Trust to preserve its War Memorial Recreation Ground for future generations.

The Fields in Trust Centenary Fields initiative, supported by HRH the Duke of Cambridge, aims to secure recreational spaces to honour the memory of those who lost their lives in World War I and create a tangible local legacy. These can include war memorial parks and playing fields or other significant green spaces.

On 2 December 2015 parish clerk Allison Stone, accompanied by Cllr Brian Rogers, attended an awards ceremony at Lords Cricket Ground in London, where they received an award on behalf of the council for having a showcase Centenary Field 2015. There were over 500 entries in this class but just seven were recognised as showcase fields, and SBHPC was the only parish council among them.

Helen Griffiths, chief executive of Fields in Trust, said: “Our awards celebrate the important role played by individuals, landowners, local authorities and many others, protecting and improving outdoor recreational space for future generations to enjoy. Some inspiring examples of partnership work have been highlighted and we are delighted to reward these remarkable efforts.”

Clerks & Councils Direct January 2016

 

MURALS KEEP WWI MEMORY ALIVE

IN a project instigated by WITHAM Town Council, pupils from a local school collaborated with street artist Scott Irving to turn a graffiti-strewn area into a memorial to those lost in WWI. The project is part of the Essex town’s WWI centenary commemorations, which are being coordinated by the council in collaboration with the Royal British Legion. Mr Irving and art teacher Hannah Mais ran art workshops with children from Year 8, using research about the town’s involvement in the conflict by local historians. The students read journals and letters written by local men fighting on the front line and then drew up initial designs, which Mr Irving refined. A group of 14 students put the finishing touches to the murals. The council originally planned to site the murals on railway arches but were unable to secure agreement from Network Rail in time. The Environment Agency instead suggested painting a disused gauging station on the town’s River Walk.

Clerks & Councils Direct January 2016

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PLAQUE RE-DEDICATED IN MEMORY OF WWI

SOUTHFLEET Parish Council in Kent has unveiled a new commemorative plaque to remember those who fought in the Great War of 1914–18. The plaque is attached to the War Memorial Cottage, which in 1922 was officially dedicated in memory of 18 villagers who lost their lives in the conflict.

The cottage was erected originally by public subscription to accommodate the parish nurse and treat first aid cases. It was acquired by Kent County Council in 1952 for the local health authority, but was eventually sold and approved for residential use. It now belongs to Raymond and Pamela Watson, who bought and refurbished it in 2000.
The parish council approached Mr and Mrs Watson with a view to replacing the original stone plaque, which had broken and been taken down some years previously, and on 22 August the couple hosted an unveiling ceremony in their front garden. This was attended by a number of villagers, some of whose relatives were named on the memorial.
The council chairman, Cllr Noreen Salway, unveiled the gilt-edged memorial and delivered an address before guests moved to the Ship Inn across the road for complimentary refreshments. Raymond Watson said: “We are honoured to be living in such an historic house. We still have a copy of the parish news report and the order of service from the ceremonial opening back in 1922, and an old photograph of Major-General H F Thuillier RE unveiling the first plaque.”

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Clerks & Councils Direct, November 2015


BRINGING THE PAST BACK TO LIFE

TALGARTH Town Council in Powys unveiled and rededicated its original WW1 memorial in the town hall on Remembrance Sunday 2014, years after it disappeared from public view.

In the early 1920s the brass plaque was placed on panelling above the fireplace in the hall, but in 1957 a new memorial was built on the bank of the River Ennig to include the names of men killed in WW2, and the original plaque was buried within it.

However, the structure was eroded by the river, and when the existing memorial was built in 1989 the plaque was disinterred and placed in storage by resident John Gwynne. It came to light during preparations for the Talgarth Walking Festival.

A group of volunteers helped with cleaning and polishing the plaque, while the panelling was refurbished by a local joinery firm. Talgarth and District Historical Society secured a grant of £8,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The plaque was dedicated on 9 November 2014 by Canon Rowland Edwards, in a ceremony that was also attended by Mr Gwynne (pictured).

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 Clerks & Councils Direct, July 2015


REDEDICATION FOR WRAF VOLUNTEER

A PARISH council has rededicated its war memorial to include the name of a female air force volunteer who died on the last day of World War I. Villagers in Braunston-in-Rutland believed that Gladys Walter’s name was left off the memorial because of her gender. Parish clerk Carole Brown said that the village had now “put right the wrong”.

Ms Walter joined up in 1916, aged 18, and worked at an air base near Grantham, Lincolnshire as a rigger, maintaining the wires that held fighter planes together. She joined the 29th Training Squadron of the WRAF soon after it was formed in April 1918, but died on Armistice Day in November from pneumonia. She was one of only three servicewomen from Rutland to die in WWI.

The parish council paid £120 to inscribe her name, alongside 14 others who died in both world wars. During the service, children placed 15 flowers on the memorial to represent them. Ms Brown said: “The whole village is behind it, we are all very proud.”

Clerks & Councils Direct, May 2015

CLEAN-UP FOR VCS’ GRAVES

THE Victoria Cross Trust is undertaking a major project at Brookwood Cemetery near Woking in Surrey to restore the graves of men awarded the Victoria Cross during World War I. The Trust team will be working at the cemetery from 23–27 March, and will host an open day for the public on 26 March, from 10am to 4pm.
Brookwood Cemetery, founded in 1852, extends over 400 acres and is the largest cemetery in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. It is also known as the London Necropolis. It is the final resting place of 12 VC recipients, with a further three commemorated on memorials.
The grave markers and memorials are in various states of disrepair: some require minimal cleaning while others require major restoration. The Victoria Cross Trust will restore all the gravestones, and the three memorials if time permits. Duane Ashworth, father of James Ashworth VC, will coordinate volunteers during the week and will assist with the open day.

Clerks & Councils Direct, March 2015

DURHAM MINERS MEMORIAL

CLLR Hazel Charlton, chairwoman of West Auckland Parish Council, has unveiled a memorial sandstone bench paying tribute to more than 50 County Durham miners who died between the sinking of the West Auckland colliery in 1838 and its closure in 1967. It was carved by sculptor Beatrice Searle, a trainee stonemason at Lincoln Cathedral.

WORLD WAR 1 COMMEMORATIONS

MORE than 200 people attended the dedication of the Whitfield War Memorial and the Act of Remembrance on 9 November 2014. The grey granite memorial was commissioned by Whitfield Parish Council, and a local company laid the foundations free of charge. Funds for landscaping were raised through the sale of donated books.
Parish council chairman Cllr Jeff Goodsell laid the first wreath on behalf of residents, followed by Algy Cluff, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Kent, district council chair Cllr Sue Nicholas and Austin Walker, county chairman of the Royal British Legion. Other wreaths were laid on behalf of local organisations, and by relatives of some of those named on the memorial.
The service was followed by refreshments in the village hall, which staged an exhibition on the lives of the 13 local men who died in World War I and the six who died in World War II. As part of the preparations, the final resting place or memorial to each man was visited and a wooden poppy cross left in his honour. A commemorative booklet was produced containing the order of service and details of the final resting places.

CATTERALL Parish Council in Lancashire marked the centenary by commissioning a Memorial Gate for the entrance to its Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field. Initial plans were sketched by Cllr Don Harvey, and the Duchy of Lancaster contributed £250 in funding. The metal gate was painted black, with three poppies picked out in red. A hand-made plaque was made by local school pupils, and a larger plaque was commissioned. A dedication service was held at the end of August 2014.

WORK undertaken by Cranleigh Parish Council with local volunteers has resulted in its War Memorial securing Grade II listing. The limestone memorial was erected in around 1920 by local builders Thorpes, at a cost of £864. Located on the High Street near the Fountain Memorial, which was listed Grade II in 1987; it features a crane with a wreath, the symbol of the Surrey village.
In 2009 the War Memorials Trust, alongside Surrey County Council, offered grants towards repairs to the memorial and entrance gate. To commemorate the War’s 100th anniversary, further cleaning and repair work was done in July 2014, again supported by the Trust and public donations. Waverley Borough Council will now prepare the statutory notices required under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

Clerks & Councils Direct, January 2015


MARKING A SOLEMN ANNIVERSARY
Remembrance Day has a particular significance this year with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. Councils around the country have been paying tribute in a variety of imaginative ways

WestburyWWI_Nov14_memorials A RANGE of community groups worked with WESTBURY Town Council on projects to mark the centenary in August, including events, talks and exhibitions and restoration of the Wiltshire town’s two war memorials.
A Great War Event gave visitors a taste of tea in tin mugs, hardtack biscuits and a replica WW1 trench manned by soldiers. A team of volunteers dressed in costume from the period, including nurses, soldiers, teachers and general civilians (see page 1), while the WI and Royal British Legion (RBL) served up food they might have eaten at the time, from cake made from an authentic WWI recipe to bully beef and hardtack. The RBL held a fundraising raffle and staff at the Westbury Heritage Centre also dressed in costume for the day.
The RBL held a commemorative evening service attended by more than 60 people, including the mayor and councillors. A commemorative plaque was rededicated in memory of those who lost their lives in the conflict. Another event attracted 100 people to hear talks on how the war affected the town, led by Lt Col Andrew Field and Liz Argent of the Westbury Heritage Society.

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2014

 RomseyWarhorse_Nov14

WARMINSTER held a very well received exhibition at the Civic Centre in August. Councillors are now seeking funding for a project to erect a significant bronze memorial as a lasting tribute to 70,000 Australian troops who were left stranded in Wiltshire at the end of the war, waiting for a ship to take them home. Members of the council have drawn up a proposal at no cost to the council taxpayer, and are seeking commercial/corporate sponsorship for a statue at a prominent location in the town.
Cllr Steve Dancey, a member of the council’s WWI subcommittee, said: “Around 400,000 Australians volunteered for service in World War I and 70,000 were left stranded in Wiltshire in early 1919 waiting to return home after the armistice. Hundreds died of wounds or of the Spanish flu during their wait while able bodied comrades drew hill carvings as they passed the time.”
The Australian High Commissioner, Alexander Downer, has given the project his support, and sculptor Amy Goodman is working on the theme “a letter from home”. She has already undertaken a number of high-profile commissions for other communities, with recent projects including an angel in Winchester and the Romsey warhorse (pictured).

Clerks & Councils Direct November 2014


REMEMBERING THE GREAT WAR

ON 4 August 1914 Britain entered the First World War when it declared war on Germany; this August marked the centenary of this landmark moment. Services of remembrance were held in Westminster Abbey and Glasgow Cathedral, while members of the royal family and politicians from across Europe and the Commonwealth attended a commemorative event in Belgium.
Councils across the UK led ceremonies to mark the centenary and to commemorate those who fought and died. Many communities took part in the national Lights Out campaign, leaving only a single light or candle lit between 10pm and 11pm to mark the moment that war was declared. At the time, foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey remarked: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” The conflict lasted for over four years, costing the lives of more than 700,000 UK soldiers and hundreds of thousands more from the British Empire.
Kent County Council and Prince Harry unveiled a memorial arch in Folkestone to commemorate the millions who passed through the town on their way to the front line. Many local authorities, including Surrey County Council and Hereford Council, have run heritage projects with community led research into the conflict.
War memorials up and down the country have been cleaned and restored. Here are some of the projects undertaken by individual councils to ensure that future generations do not forget.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2014

President HRH The Duke of Cambridge visited the War Memorial Park in COVENTRY to launch the organisation’s new Centenary Fields programme. Its aim is to protect at least one green space in each local authority across the UK, creating a national legacy to commemorate those who gave their lives in the conflict. The city park became the first green space to be officially dedicated as a Centenary Field.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2014

RINGWOOD Town Council is to dedicate a Lantern of Remembrance at The Gateway public services building on 3 September. The lantern will light up on the date of each death of a Ringwood person from both World Wars, and a list will be displayed of all those who fell, day by day through the year In his speech, the duke said: “World War I continues to inspire us – 100 years on – to undertake acts of remembrance for men and women otherwise long forgotten. The Centenary Fields project aims to save in perpetuity scores of memorial spaces around the country. Most will not be as large as this, but every one is valued by its community.”

Before unveiling the official plaque, Prince William laid a wreath and helped local children sow poppy seeds, as well as joining them in sports events.

Clerks & Councils Direct September 2014

HERTFORD Town Council and local churches held a service of remembrance at the tow


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