A thanksgiving service and dedication of a new memorial, honouring villagers’ service and sacrifice during the war, is set to take place in Long Clawson.
Members of the Long Clawson Christians Together group launched a fundraising appeal for the memorial in February and thanks to a steady stream of generous donations, large and small, just under £6,000 has been raised so far.
The polished grey granite memorial, with slate surround, will be a lasting tribute to the contribution made by all the people of the village in time of conflict in the cause of freedom.
The wording on the front says: “In perpetual remembrance of those of this village who have given service in time of conflict in the cause of freedom and in honour of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.’
On the back it will simply state: ‘Lest we forget’.
The thanksgiving and dedication of the memorial, which will be sited on the village green at The Sands, is taking place on Saturday, September 3 at 3pm.
Pastor Eric Moxham is leader of the Long Clawson Christians Together group. It is a group of people from three village congregations (Baptists, Methodists and Church of England) who meet regularly to plan shared events and activities.
He said: “We want to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped in any way. Without their support it would have been impossible to arrange such a lasting memorial to commemorate the contribution of all the many villagers to the freedoms we enjoy today.
“The donations have been consistent all the way through. It’s been so encouraging how people have responded and it has meant we haven’t had to delay anything.
“If people haven’t yet donated but wish to we are keeping the fund open because we want to insure the memorial, guarding against any damage. Having got this far we want to be responsible. We will also have to maintain the upkeep of the memorial.”
Mr Moxham said the memorial will not only acknowledge the village’s fatalities during the war but pay wider tribute to ‘everyone in the village who pulled together during the war effort.’
He added the new tribute was intended to be complimentary to the existing rolls of honour in the Anglican and Methodist churches, marking the village’s fatalities during the First World War, as well as the names of the people in the parish church.
Donations to the memorial fund can be sent to pastor Eric Moxham at 1 Claxton Rise, Long Clawson, LE14 4PH. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Long Clawson Baptist Church’.