The rain last Tuesday (10) evening did not stop a good turnout which saw St Mary’s Church almost full as people supported the Family History (Haverhill) Group and Friends ‘We Will Remember Them’ evening, writes Brian Thompson
Seventeen men named on the WW1 memorial plaque in the church were remembered as illustrated accounts of their moving life stories were read.
Amongst those remembered were two men who had been employed by D Gurteen and Sons in Chauntry Mills and Christopher Gurteen paid tribute to both.
Colin and Iris Webb attended to remember their great uncle, Cecil Webb, while Chris Morley travelled from Godalming to join Ian Westrope as they related the life story of their great uncle Reginald Morley, a young man who was underage when he enlisted.
Those present also heard of the triple tragedy that befell the Payne family.
Henry and Ann Payne lost their three sons within a four week period at Passchendaele in 1917. Everyone was visibly moved as a poem published on the first anniversary of their deaths was read;
On a far and lonely battlefield
When the trees their branches bend,
Lie three loving sons and brothers,
Sent to their untimely end.
We never knew the pain they bore
We never saw them die
We only know they passed away
And never said, “Goodbye”
We loved them in life too little
We love them in death too well.
Richard Hart played music from the period and the audience joined in singing some well-known songs of the time.
Soloist Anne Mills sang For the Fallen and ended by leading everyone in the rousing Land of Hope and Glory.
The Family History (Haverhill) Group would like to thank all those who supported this event and are especially grateful to all the readers.
Special thanks to the Royal British Legion Haverhill Branch and St Mary’s Church.
In November 2016 We Will Remember Them will take place in the West End Congregational Church.