Memorial will mean Stowey villages never forget Armed Forces
Teamwork by two communities came to fruition when the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Lady Gass, unveiled a simple, striking stone memorial to villagers who gave their lives for their country, and those who serve in the Armed Forces today.
Eighteen months after the villages of Nether Stowey and Over Stowey, near Bridgwater, launched the Stowey War Memorial Project Group, a Union flag fluttered away in the sunshine on Saturday to reveal the column of Portland stone, which carries a simple inscription.
The village churches have commemorative plaques but there was no single memorial at which the Royal British Legion could gather to pay tribute on Remembrance Day until the project began. The memorial stands at The Cross in the centre of Nether Stowey.
Martock stonemason Tom Clark’s design featured a cross-shaped sword on one side. The other side is inscribed: “In memory of the people from the Stoweys who have given their lives in service to their country and in honour of those who serve today. And we will remember them.”
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Seventeen men from the two villages died in the First World War and nine in the Second World War. The villages are also home to some who serve in Afghanistan today.
Parade Marshall Ross McKee led a bugle party of the Somerset Army Cadet Corps, followed by standards of the Royal British Legion.
The Archdeacon of Taunton the Ven John Reed led the Dedication, and rector of the Stoweys, the Rev Craig Marshall led the Act of Remembrance.
The Last Post and Reveille were followed by the laying of the first wreaths. Among them was one laid by Albert Davey, from Royal Wootton Bassett, whose ancestors lived in the Stoweys.