War Memorial

The picture above was taken by our own "David Bailey", Martin Horton, and shows both our new gate into the Cemetery & our beautiful War Memorial (unveiled on the 9th November 2012).

Our War Memorial?
 
On a bright Friday morning on the 9th November 2012 our beautiful new War Memorial was unveiled by our MP, James Gray & Derek Tilney of the Royal British Legion.This was followed by a Remembrance Service where the children of Stanton St Quintin Primary School placed poppy mounted crosses at the foot of each of our RAF war graves. James then placed a wreath for "Parliament & the Nation" at the base of the Memorial whilst Derek added one for the Wiltshire County Executive of the RBL. Major Tim Parkes of 9 Theatre Logistics Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps added the final wreath on behalf of the Officers, Soldiers & Families of Buckley Barracks. The end result is  a beautiful triangle of wreaths. You can see this & many other Village pictures by clicking on "Gallery" on the Sidebar.
 
There is also a nice article from The Gazette & Herald about the unveiling. Please see Village News.
  
 
We've had a very moving ceremony at 11 o'clock on the 11th November for the last 5 years when the children & teachers of the school have met, along with 20 or more villagers & our Vicar, Rev. Christopher Bryan & more recently our Curate, Rev Phil Daniels, or our now retired but still very busy Rev. John Morgan, in front of our RAF graves in the cemetery adjacent to the school. The children placed wooden crosses in front of each of the 12 graves.
 
Prior to the erection of our War Memorial, another 5 crosses were placed in a patch of grass to commerate our 5  war dead from The Great War.
 
We knew of this after "Googling" Stanton St Quintin war dead & finding this quote from the Wiltshire Community History:
 
"During the First World War out of 43 Stanton men who served their country, five were killed and twelve wounded".
 
We also know that during World War 2 both the sons of Basil & Maude Alers Hankey of Stanton Manor lost their lives. Who knows, had one or both survived we might not have The Stanton Manor Hotel today.
 
If any of you in the Village have any personal memories, or maybe stories from your Grandparents, that could help in this research we would love to hear from you either via the "Have Your Say" link or even by telephone if email is not your thing!!
Phone details are available by clicking on the "Directory" link.
 
Even though the Memorial is now in place we would still be very interested in more details about the 7 men who made the Supreme sacrifice.
STANTON VILLAGE CEMETERY GATE
 
Some 30 years ago a very generous though anonymous villager donated a gate for the cemetery which lies opposite St Giles Church in Stanton St Quintin. Over the years, however, time and the weather have taken their toll and by early 2013 the gate had become a little rickety, and certainly not in keeping with either the rest of the cemetery or with the new War Memorial which was erected and dedicated in 2012.
 
The Stanton Village Social Committee decided, therefore, that some of the money raised from the 2013 Village Fete should be used to purchase and install a new cemetery gate. This work was commissioned in early October 2013 and completed in time for the Remembrance Day ceremony on November 11th. The new gate is a solid and impressive structure and its installation has been widely welcomed as a much needed improvement at the heart of the village.
 
More pictures of the War Memorial, the Church and other Village pictures can be seen on our "Stanton Web Slideshow". If you haven't already seen it, this can be accessed by clicking on "Gallery" on the Sidebar.

MEMORIES OF A SOLDIER OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR

We've recently received a fascinating & poignant email from Tim Couzens whose great uncle Private Arthur Thomas 6th Bn.The Wiltshire Regiment, was killed on active service during the first days of the Battle of the Somme:
  I am very sorry that I did not see your request for information on the Stanton soldiers killed in WW1, when you inaugurated the new War Memorial in 2012.  My great uncle, Private Arthur Thomas, from Lower Stanton, was one. 
    I attach a photo and the letter of notification of his death.  He is also commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial at the Somme - for those with no known grave.  (I have a photo of that somewhere, together with the date of death etc. from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, if anybody would like a copy).  The Wiltshire Regiment were used as reinforcements and, from memory, I think he was killed about 7 or 10 days into the Somme offensive.
    As the 100th anniversary approaches, I will look out the original letter, which my great grandmother had kept, together with his unopened campaign medal and envelope from the War Office - which I will photograph.  I can give further, brief, biographical details, if that would also be of interest.  Once I have all the information together I will post the photos and text on the various websites, set up for the purpose, this year.
    Some years ago, my cousin was serving in the Royal Marines.  Part of their induction included a visit to the first World War battlefields and Thiepval.  She read the letter and everybody found it very moving, particularly as it refers to going over the top . . . . . . .      
 
    Best Regards
    Tim Couzens
    8b, Burton Road, Kingston-on-Thames, SURREY, KT2 5TF.  Tel 0208 255 7339.
    or via Mr R W Couzens.  9 Draycot Cerne, Nr Chippenham, WILTS, SN15 5LD.  01249 750 649.   
 
 PS.Some of the older residents will remember by great uncles and aunts, Frank & Nan Randall and Fred & Millie Couzens.    
Please see Village News for a photograph of Arthur in his uniform (Pte Arthur Thomas.jpg) & a letter from the Regimental Chaplain (TOM3.doc) written to Arthur's father.
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