CHURCH’S TIE WITH WAR
Picture: David Baylis IN February, John Whitton, the warden of All Saints church in Cloverdale called for families of soldiers featured on a honour board to get in touch with him.
The board was found in storage when the Belgravia Street church was approached by the RSL for any record of names of soldiers who served in WWI.
Two months later, the church has background information on about 17 of the 20 soldiers listed.
“We have had a fair response, with some interesting stories,” Mr Whitton said.
He said one of the more interesting stories was John Homewood’s.
According to Mr Whitton’s research, Homewood was present when Manfred von Richthofen, also known the Red Baron, was shot down in 1918.
The Red Baron was a well-known German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service. He was considered the top ace of the war.
There has been much speculation about who exactly shot him down while he was flying over Morlancourt Ridge, near the Somme River.
According to Mr Whit- ton, Homewood was in charge of a gunning group of three men, one of whom was responsible for the fatal shots.
Mr Whitton said Mr Homewood’s family still had the compass from the plane.
Stan Blacklock was also among those listed. He was the son of builder and brickworks owner John Blacklock, who helped build the original All Saints church in 1906.
According to a local history of the area, Ever Moving Forward, the original church was the second church built in the area and was at the corner of Moreing Road.
All Saints warden John Whitton with pictures showing some members of the Blacklock family.