Lest we forget.
The 18 young men from Goostrey, Twemlow and Allostock who fell in the First World War were honoured at a ceremonial oak tree planting this morning on the Bogbean, organised by the Goostrey branch of the Royal British Legion, who have funded the event along with Goostrey Parish Council. 27 other local men who served and survived were also remembered.
The chairman of Goostrey Parish Council, Cllr Ken Morris, made a very touching tribute (written in full below) and 18 Scouts and Guides from Goostrey laid crosses. The vicar of St Luke’s Church, Rev Heather Buckley, and the Minister of the Methodist Church, Reverend Yvonne Pearson lead the prayers and Mrs Margaret Kettle (lovingly referred to as the Queen Mother of the village) helped plant the tree. A big thank you must go to Arthur Lamb, Chairman, and the Goostrey Branch of the Royal British Legion, for all their hard work in organising the Centenary tree planting and memorial service.
An oak tree was planted with a memorial plaque in memory of their sacrifice for the community and country. Photographs below.
A Service of Remembrance was held at St Luke’s at 10.00am Sunday 11th and bells rung at 12.30 to mark the 100th anniversary (along with many churches nationally). The parade assembled in the Crown Inn car park from 9.15am.
Click here to read the list of the 18 men , where I have now added links to their stories on the Cheshire County Memorial Project so you can look up individual names.
“I would like to thank the Royal British Legion for asking the Parish Council to speak at today’s ceremony. It is a privilege to be able to join with all of you to witness the formal planting of this tree and unveiling of the plaque. Together we are part of a series of tributes taking place up and down the country.
World War 1 was a most terrible and tragic event. Tomorrow will be exactly 100 years since the signing of the Armistice, when the guns fell silent on the Western Front. These eventsmarked the beginning of the end of that Great War of 1914-18.
As chairman of the Parish Council, I am honoured to be able to represent the local community in paying our respects for the bravery and sacrifice of those 18 men from Goostrey and surrounding villages who fought and died, during, or as a direct result of, the war. They were truly heroes and they gave their lives for the freedom we have today.
We have the details of another 27 of our local men who served in the war, they fortunately survived. We salute them as well.
It’s hard to imagine the horror that all those men would have experienced. Before the war they were living peaceful lives and doing ordinary jobs in and around Goostrey. Some of them were farm workers, some worked at the Railway Station, one was training to be a doctor, another was an MP. They lived in roads we are familiar with today, including Bank View, Mill Lane, Main Road and in the Station Cottages.
Following the outbreak of war, in August 1914 Britain recruited a huge volunteer citizen’s army. In just 8 weeks three quarters of a million men in Britain had joined up. The menfrom our villages answered the call of duty. They volunteered to leave their homes and families to fight for their country in far distant places. Almost in the blink of an eye they were no longer in Goostrey, Twemlow or Allostock, but deep in mud at the Battle of the Somme, the Battles at Ypres and the most horrific Battle of Passchendaele. Between them they saw active service in many different countries, service in which more than nine million military personnel were killed.
I’m sure that we are also very proud of the fact that two of the men from our villages, were awarded the Military Medal for Bravery. Another was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and another was mentioned in Dispatches by Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig and was awarded the Military Cross for a conspicuous act of gallantry.
16 of the 18 are commemorated on the war memorial at St Luke’s Church, but we know that many of them are buried where they fell or in graves a long way from home, including in France, Belgium, Greece, Jerusalem and Iraq. Most were only young men, three died at only 19 years old.
I’d also like us to remember all those who were affected by the loss of these local men at that time, including their families and friends. Goostrey and the surrounding villages were much smaller places in 1914. The impact on those left at home, wives, children, fathers, mothers and all those depending on them must’ve been devastating. Even those who returned were often left severely injured or with permanent disabilities, both physical and psychological.
I expect that everyone living in Goostrey and round about today have parents, grandparents, great grandparents or other relatives who served in the war and as such our lives have also been touched in one way or another.
The phrase ‘Lest we forget’ is often used in connection with the Great War. I therefore feel it is very appropriate for the Parish Council to join with the Royal British Legion and all of you here today in continuing that pledge by marking the centenary with this plaque, and oak tree. Both will be a reminder of the fallen heroes in our village, and the debt of gratitude that we owe to those 18 men, for centenaries to come. ” Councillor Ken Morris, Chairman of Goostrey Parish Council.