Tuesday, 21 May 2019

White cross for each villager who was lost

White cross for each villager who was lost

NINETY-SIX wooden crosses were placed on Rectory Garden in Goring in honour of former villagers who died in service.

The task was carried out by a group of volunteers led by Iestyn Llewellyn, who is the village’s Poppy Appeal organiser.

He came up with the idea in honour of his late grandfather Les Edmond, who collected for the appeal in Goring for many years until he took over.

Mr Llewellyn, a Thames Valley Police officer who also manages the village football club’s first team and is assistant group leader for the 1st Goring scouts, approached a carpenter friend who made and painted the white crosses free of charge.

He then approached the parish council, which manages the green space off High Street, for permission to place the crosses at the foot of the village flagpole.

His helpers included his wife Alex and children Morgan, 14, and Gwen, nine. Mr Llewellyn said: “After doing a little research into the 96 men who died fighting, I thought Rectory Garden would be an ideal spot to commemorate them as it’s fairly central.

“Although it’s the centenary of the Armistice, for me it was about more than that. It’s really important that children, including my own, understand the significance of that ultimate sacrifice.

“We bring young people to war memorials but sometimes they’re just standing there thinking ‘it’s cold’, ‘I’m bored’ or ‘what’s for lunch?’

“It has to mean something to them and by putting up a cross for each local serviceman who died they will be curious and want to ask questions and find out more.

“It was a big job and my friend, who is local, doesn’t want any credit but I’m hugely grateful and would also like to thank the parish council for its support. We had a very positive response.”

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