More than one hundred and forty villagers, school children and teachers gathered at the First World War Memorial yesterday to honour the soldiers who were killed or died from injuries in the conflict.
Long Wittenham honoured those who sacrificed their lives in the First World War – fourteen from Long Wittenham and one, Charles Green aged twenty, who lived in Little Wittenham.
The soldiers from Long Wittenham who lost their lives were: Percy Beckett, Charles Bidmead, Kenneth Bumpass, Alec Chambers, Alan Eason, Vincent Essex, Harry Green, William Wybrow-Hallwright, William Hermon, Thomas Hopkyns, Ernest Jeffries, Fred and Frank Lamboll and Frank Leston.
The commemoration ceremony was conducted by the Rev. David Haylett. Wreathes were laid at the memorial on behalf of the parish council by the chairman Gordon Rogers, and the village by Gillian and Vic Lester.
Three wreathes made by school pupils were laid at the base of the memorial which also featured two large wooden crosses made by the village Brownies. Pupils also pushed fourteen small wooden crosses into the ground at the base of the stone memorial.
Before the ceremony eighty-two children and twelve teachers gathered in St Mary’s church for a service to mark the end of hostilities in November 1918. They paid tribute by reading short biographies of the fourteen men from the village who lost their lives.
During the ceremony at the war memorial the Rev. Haylett said: “Today is a special day when we remember those men and woman who have died in the cause of peace and justice so that we today might live in freedom.”
“Pray for all those who work for the reconciliation of those with different beliefs and practices and for people everywhere that all may know justice and freedom and live in peace and security. Remember the homeless and refugees.”