On Friday 1st July a short commemoration was held in front of the war memorial at 9pm at St Nicholas Church in Tadmarton, to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Organised by Royal British Legion member Steve Kingsford we were honoured to have present Colonel John Bridgeman Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, our MP Victoria Prentis ,The Rev Ronald Hawkes, some of the wonderful villagers who always turn out for every village event and members of Chipping Norton Legion Branch.  Steve opened the commemoration by recalling a scene from the Battle that happened on the same evening 100 years ago. He read the names of eight men from Tadmarton who fought on the Somme, one of whom was killed in action. The Rev Hawkes said prayers then Annalise Kingsford,12, read the poem “From one who stays” by Amy Lowell. Colonel Bridgeman laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen and the village. After the ode “They shall grow not old” by Legion President Neville Edwards, a minute silence was followed by the Kohima exhortation “When you go home think of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today.” The Reverend Hawkes then closed the service with a blessing.  A candle on the war memorial guttered through the night in Remembrance. Out thanks go to all who attended, we did right by the men of the village who endured so much.

 

In addition to the wreath and the candle a gold poppy soldier was placed on the war memorial. The soldier is one of 141, one for each day of the battle, made by artist Nic Joly. It was given to the Chipping Norton Branch of the Royal British Legion in recognition of our work marking the centenary of the First World War. It will be present at our forthcoming events remembering the Battle of the Somme.

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