Monday, August 11, 2014
The story of six men who went fight in the First World War but never returned to their Norfolk village was remembered during a poignant service.
Residents gathered in Limpenhoe, near Reedham, yesterday to hear about the lives of the six – one of whom was just 15 years old when he died – as they came together for the special ceremony to rededicate the village war memorial.
The monument, which stands in the grounds of St Botolph’s Church and is inscribed with the name of the six, was given an overhaul to mark the centenary of the conflict.
As part of the project to restore the memorial, volunteer residents researched the lives of the six men and their stories were shared as part of the touching service held yesterday.
The Rev Martin Greenland, rector at Acle, said it was a “privilege” to lead the service.
Addressing the congregation he said: “We have gathered here to remember all those who were caught up in the courageous but tragic events of the First World War.
“We remember those who were killed in action or by disease, the families who were shattered, the wounded, the maimed and injured and those who held in silence unspeakable memories of war.
“And now the honouring of six local men has been renewed by the restoration of this parish’s memorial.
“We have the research which has told us something about their local background, as well as the military action in which they participated.
“To me it’s perhaps as invaluable as the restoration itself, as it reminds us that these were real people who died.”
The congregation sang hymns and heard readings, including Wilfred Owen’s Anthem for Doomed Youth, before heading into the churchyard for the rededication of the memorial.
Rev Greenland read out the names of the six – Walter Webb, 25, John Spooner, 39, Hylton May, 22, Frederick Barker, 15, William Postle, 26, and John Loades, 31 – before the Last Post was played and members of the Royal British Legion lowered their standards.
The sun broke out from yesterday’s stormy clouds as the congregation observed a two-minute silence and relatives of the fallen then placed a wreath of poppies at the foot of the memorial.
The congregation together made their commitment to peace before the blessing of the monument closed the service.