Bomb vic­tims and fallen re­mem­bered at ser­vices

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Family Announcements - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

More than 500 peo­ple came to­gether in Great Chart to hon­our the fallen and wounded soldiers from both world wars.

Three events were held in the vil­lage last Mon­day and Sun­day to mark three poignant an­niver­saries: 100 years since the First World War was de­clared; 70 years since RAF 5003 Squadron lost 15 men when their camp was bombed; and 70 years since three squadrons of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF), based in Ash­ford, flew to France.

About 400 peo­ple at­tended an evening ser­vice at St Mary’s Church on the Mon­day, led by Great Chart Re­mem­bers mem­ber Ian Wolver­son and in­clud­ing three vis­ual pre­sen­ta­tions.

The un­veil­ing of memo­rial plaques at the vil­lage’s war memo­rial fol­lowed the ser­vice.

The mon­u­ment was orig­i­nally un­veiled 93 years ago and in­cluded the names of the men who died be­tween 1914-18.

Seven men who were killed dur­ing the con­flict and not orig­i­nally in­cluded have now been added at the back of the memo­rial.

Mr Wolver­son said: “With these seven men added the to­tal loss from the vil­lage in the First World War was 27.

“Another seven were so badly wounded they were dis­charged from ser­vice. That is 34 out of the 119 men called to the colours – nearly 30%. There are many sad sto­ries of those lost.”

Another plaque was ded­i­cated to the 25 men who were lost on mis­sions from Great Chart’s air­field dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, and another to the 15 men of RAF 5003 Squadron, lost to a sin­gle bomb in 1944 at the camp at Cole­man’s Kitchen.

Cap­tain Bernie Sledzik, of 514th Squadron USAAF, who flew mis­sions from Great Chart dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, trav­elled to the UK for the event.

In ad­di­tion to the church ser­vice and ser­vices at the memo­rial, an ex­hi­bi­tion dis­play­ing a col­lec­tion of First World War let­ters sent home by men in the ser­vices dur­ing the con­flict was held in Great Chart Vil­lage Hall over both days.

The ser­vice at the war memo­rial and at St Mary’s Church at Great Chart

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.