PARISHIONERS at All Saints’ Church in Leek Wootton held a Service of Commemoration on the eve of the 100th anniversary of Britain joining the First World War.
The congregation was joined on Sunday (August 3) by the grandson of one of the men on the memorial and a niece of two others.
The special service included readings, poems and an additional verse to the National Anthem, which was published in November 1918 by the then Vicar, The Reverend Edward Riley, in the Leek Wootton Parish Magazine – “God save our splendid men, bring them safe home again, God save our men…”.
At the close of a moving service, 18 red roses that had lain on 18 symbolically empty chairs, representing the men of the parish that fell during the Great War, were placed on the grave of Driver William Hobbins who served with the Royal Field Artillery. He was wounded in France and sent back to England, but he died in hospital and so became the only one of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to be buried at home.
As a tribute to all who served from 1914 to 1919, Leek Wootton History Group has researched those who died and, with the financial support of the Warwick Rural West Community Forum Grant Fund, has published a book that will be distributed to every household in the parish.