Parish recognises war dead
ANEW War Memorial board in honour of the men of Hele and Barton who died in the two World Wars will be dedicated for the first time at a ceremony in Torquay on Sunday.
The event will take place at St Martin’s Church in Barton, where parish priest Father Gorran Chapman said: “There has never been a War Memorial in our Church, and the omission has been keenly felt for some time.
“The absence is explained in that Hele and Barton, which is now a separate parish, simply did not exist as a separate parish during the two world wars and was only created in 1960.
“Until then, Hele and Barton were part of the parish of St Marychurch, and those who died from Hele and Barton are commemorated on the St Marychurch War Memorial.
“Some years ago, with the help of local historian Edna White, we managed to work out which men came actually from Hele and Barton.
“For several years I have been reading out those names from a printed card, and have been astonished and pleased to discover how much this meant to so many people who had not been expecting to hear the names read out, and who were descendants of some of the men named.
“I realised that this information could very easily be lost again, if it simply remained on card or paper, and I was keen to have something permanent done.”
The new War Memorial Board is being funded by the widow of the late Philip Haward MBE, who was a churchwarden at St Martins and was involved in many philanthropic projects.
Father Gorran added: “That we are able to dedicate this board at the exact minute of one hundred years since the Armistice was signed, makes the significance of this coming Sunday, and what we are doing, all the more meaningful and profound.”
Relatives of the 49 Hele and Barton men whose names are on the board are welcome to attend the service.
Ian Cawley, Joanne Sharlott, Linda Dennis, Helen Smith, and Edward and Gillian Gillon with poppies