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Thorngumbald Tribute to WW1 Soldiers who never came home

THORNGUMBALD is marking the centenary of the Armistice with a poignant tribute to the nine people from the village who fell in service to their country during the Great War. Nine life-sized steel silhouettes of the soldiers will be placed at the entrance to the village where they will be specially lit to provide a striking image to those travelling to and through the village. The scene will show the men returning to the village – though in reality, the horrors of war meant they never did.

The idea has been the brainchild of Ben Elton, a former sergeant major, from the village who is having the silhouettes made. The Parish Council has backed the idea and along with other support has agreed to provide the lighting.

On the 11th November 2018 there will be a Remembrance Service in the Community Institute at 10 o’clock in the morning, followed, at 11 o’clock, by the Remembrance ceremony outside at the war memorial attached to the Institute wall, the observance of a two-minute silence and the laying of a poppy wreath. This will be followed by the tolling of the church bell nine times in memory of the nine men who did not return to the village. Following that villagers will make their way to the site of the nine silhouettes, where there will be a second laying of a wreath and a short ceremony. This is due to take place at 11.45 a.m.

As part of the national lighting of beacons on the evening, the Thorngumbald beacon will be lit on the recreation area on the Main Road (opposite the Vicarage). The church bell will be rung, this time as a celebration of the ending of the Great War. This will be followed by a celebration in the Community Institute for parish residents with a finger buffet provided by the Parish Council. There will be songs and music from the era, together with poetry and prose commemorating the event. Guests are invited (but not obliged) to dress in outfits from the time of the First World War. If you would like to attend this event (free of charge), tickets will be available from the Parish Office in the Village Hall.

Member of the village WW1 Committee member, Margaret Wilson, said: “We think it will be very impressive having nine life-sized ‘tommies’ at the entrance to the village as if they were marching home, although in reality they never did. These are being generously donated by Mr Ben Elton, a resident of Thorngumbald, and an ex sergeant major from the army who wanted to make sure that the nine men who fell in the Great War are adequately commemorated as if they did return from the war.”

Margaret Wilson is continuing to research the history of those who are named on the Thorngumbald memorial, and if you have any information about the men who served at that time please contact her through the Parish Office.

The Parish Council Office, Thorngumbald Village Hall, Main Road, Camerton HU12 9NG. Tel: 01964 601111. Email: thorngumbaldpc@hotmail.com

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