On Wednesday 22nd August we marked the Centenary of the end of the First World War, 100 years to the day since the last man from the village died on the Western Front. Trooper Richard Howkins of 1st/1st Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars took part in a cavalry charge on the village of Royes during the Battle of Amiens, the first phase of the 100 days offensive on 8th August 1918. The assault was halted by heavy machine gun fire and Trooper Howkins wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans. He died in captivity on 22nd August 1918 aged 20.

In the presence of Sir Tony Baldry Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, the Reverend Ronald Hawkes, members of 142 Squadron (Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars) Royal Logistics Corps, members of the QOOH association and our wonderful villagers we gathered round the war memorial. The Standard of the now defunct Tadmarton branch Standard of the Royal British Legion was brought out from within the church to mark this auspicious occasion.

An introduction was made by Parish Council chairman and Legion member Steve Kingsford. Prayers were said by Ronald, and Steve told the stories of all the 6 men who made the ultimate sacrifice were read out and crosses with their photos on laid on the memorial after each man's name had been read out. The exhortation "They shall not grow old....." was then read out followed by a minutes silence.

Wreaths were then laid, Sir Tony on behalf of the Queen and the village, Captain Kev Taylor of 142 Squadron, The Royal Logistic Corps who still bear the proud name of the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, Steve for the Royal British Legion, Jean Mills for the QOOH Association and Tim Turner on behalf of Tadmarton Parish Council.

Steve then recited the Kohima Epitaph, "When you go home tell them of us and say: for your tomorrow, we gave our today"

We then moved to the graveyard behind the church where 9 men from the village, who fought and survived now lay at rest. Sadly 3 are unmarked but we laid crosses on the graves and told the stories of the 6 who now lie in this beautiful churchyard.


Steve Kingsford, chairman of the Chipping Norton Branch of the Royal British Legion, who organised the service on behalf of the Parish Council said,

"I was delighted at the turn out and especially at a time of year when many are away on holiday. I think we have honoured both those who died and those who suffered in the war in a most fitting way"

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