Eastleach Remembers

This year Eastleach marked the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War 1 with a special service and commemoration at St Andrews Church.

A huge crowd then gathered at the stone memorial in the village where the names of the fallen were read out with a wreath laying in their honor.

We will remember………………

1914-1918

John William Adams

Frederick Blackwell

James Curtis

Thomas George Golding

Edward George Jefferies

Albert Lockey

George Pratley

Herbert Richings

Eric Herbert Taylor

James Temple

Hubert Williams

Urban Williams

1939-1945

Hedley Hayden Adams

John Arthur Goschen

On this special year, to make the day complete there was the unveiling of a new wooden memorial in the Village Hall.

The following is the address by Pete McHugh……………

Welcomes and introductions: Mike Swinford, the nephew of Frederick Blackwell. John Golding, the is great nephew of Thomas Golding,Simon Haywood the wood carver.

Four years ago when we marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War.  The Parish Council with the help of benefactors and locals put into place the restoration, repair and cleaning of the stone war memorial we have just left.

We took advice from the War Memorials Trust on what we could or couldn’t do as well as speaking and working with the contractor.

One of the common thoughts were what do we do with the inscriptions on the stone. Being local limestone, it is soft and the lettering in some areas has worn and not stood up to the weather.

So four years hence, we wanted to mark the 100th anniversary  of the ending of the war and the PC decided that we should honour our war dead in the Village Hall.

If St Andrews is the soul of our village and the stone memorial is in its heart, then here, in our village hall is the pulse of the community.

This is where we party, we play, we celebrate, and where decisions on our village life take place, so where better than to see the names of the fallen be proudly on show, so that we make look up to them, and them down on us so that we may enjoy the freedom they fought for.

Pete McHugh, Chairman of Parish Council

I am not a badge of honour,
I am not a racist smear,
I am not a fashion statement,
To be worn but once a year,
I am not glorification
Of conflict or of war.
I am not a paper ornament
A token,
I am more.

I am a loving memory,
Of a father or a son,
A permanent reminder
Of each and every one.

I’m paper or enamel
I’m old or shining new,
I’m a way of saying thank you,
To every one of you.

I am a simple poppy
A Reminder to you all,
That courage faith and honour,
Will stand where heroes fall.

Read by Ruth Wells.  The Poem was written in 2014 by Paul Hunter, It reflected on a trend that had started to associate remembrance as a glorification of war rather than as an respect of respect. Remembrance is about thanks

Harold Land with a wave of his hand said goodbye to all that.
He paid his bills and stopped the milk, then put on his hat.
He tried to say his last farewells as quickly as he could,
Promising that he would return, but doubted that he would.

Now he’s marching soldiers in the rain as on to war they rode.
A long thin line of human mind, damnation as their load.
In the mud in coldness dark, he’d shiver out his fear,
What disappointing sights he’d seen instead of ones so dear.

Harold Land with a salute of his hand stood sadly on the stage,
Clutching coloured ribbons from a badge, his face etched with age
Only a few years had passed between his leaving home and back;
What disappointing sights he’d seen while leading the attack.

Harold Land, with a stroke of his hand dried a tearstained cheek,
His mind numbed, his spirit low, his body frail and weak.
No more gas, no more shells, no more barbwire fences
What disappointing sights he’d seen amidst those wretched trenches.

For King and Country, for wife, son and daughter
No more death, no more fear, no more senseless slaughter

In conversation it could be said, that after war your heart is dead.
Well that’s not hard to understand, there is no heart in Harold Land.

Read by Pete Mchugh

Thanks

John Exelby and all readers
George and his team of bell chimers
Deryck Arkell and Jackie and her team of Poppy sellers
Gill O’Shaughnessy who researched and compiled a book to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Steves web site and online notices and digital copy of book