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'Leave no one behind'

by Michael Ford last modified 16 Jul, 2021 05:45 PM

With the centenary of the First World War, many parishes became key players in researching local history - and there have been some surprises.

St Mary the Virgin's Parochial Church Council (PCC) in Westwood, Wiltshire, has taken the lead in the last few years on a very active village commemoration of WW1.

Rector Joanna Abecassis says:

"We held special Community Services on the Remembrance Sunday of both 2014 and 2018, together with a lunch and exhibition in the Parish Room afterwards. Considerable interest was aroused, and both Westwood with Iford Primary School and a broad swathe of the village community were involved - and a great time was had by all!

"A particular emphasis was placed on researching the connection between those recorded on the War Memorial and families living in the village to this day, and a great effort was made to trace the descendants of those named who no longer had families living in the village.

"And so this is how it came to light that neither William Harford nor Edward Case, though Westwood born, baptised and bred, were included on the Memorial – even though William’s brother Henry was included.

"The PCC were keen that their memories should be honoured, as was the Harford family who are still living locally, but there was no more space for extra names on the WWI Memorial...

"And so the suggestion was made of adding a new piece of stone, the monumental masons were contacted, the faculty was applied for, and the stone was duly installed in June.

"The parish is delighted and we are now starting to plan an even more special Remembrance Commemoration 2021!"

Below: the chancel with the memorial on the right; a close-up; and the church exterior

'Leave no one behind'- St Mary the Virgin, Westwood, chancel and organ

'Leave no one behind'- the war memorial in full

'Leave no one behind'- St Mary the Virgin, Westwood

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