Another milestone was reached in our project yesterday when the CWGC Headstone for Henry Bennett, installed in the churchyard of Holy Innocents, Southwater last september, was formally dedicated in a service led by the Bishop of Horsham.
In a moving tribute prayers were said, a bugler played the Last Post and Reveille, and words were spoken by an ex soldier of the Royal Sussex Regiment. It feels that Henry has finally received the recognition that he deserved. Some photos of the event can be found in the "Gallery" section of this website.
Sunday 13th November 2016 – A Big Thanks and another Date for the Diary.
First a big thank you to all who braved the elements to support our Barns Green Remembers/Somme 100 event last night. Although numbers were relatively small, a good time was had by all and the newly remastered Battle of the Somme film was a revelation.
Secondly I can add further good news to the story of Henry Bennett in that the Bishop of Chichester has agreed to lead a service of dedication for the new headstone on 7th May next year. Holy Innocents has also had confirmation of attendance from the Lord Lieutenant of Sussex as well as the Royal Sussex Regiment, the Royal British Legion and members of both Local and District government...and we are hoping for an MP or two as well! Henry is finally to get the send off he deserved. We are also deligted to report that the second man we were campaigning for - Pte John Knight of the Coldstream Guards - has now been recognised by the CWGC and the process to get a stone for him (albeit in a Gloucestershire churchyard this time) is now moving forward.
We are delighted to announce that as part of our WW1 Project exhibition scheduled for later this year we have been given permission by the Imperial War Museum to show their newly remastered and reorchestrated "Somme" film. Made as a propaganda film in 1916 and containing, for the first time, actual battlefield footage, this remains to this day the film seen by the greatest number of people ever! (and yes that does include Star Wars etc). You can add to these numbers by joining us at Barns Green Village Hall on Saturday November 12th. Watch this space and the BigMag for further updates!
First a big apology for the dearth of project updates over the last few months. The project is still alive and well however and here are a few snippets to bring things up to date
At the end of last year we reported that we had been able to get proper CWGC recognition for Henry Bennet who served in the Royal Sussex Regiment in France and died in 1919. We can now add the further good news that the CWGC are working on his memorial stone and we are hoping to see it installed in the churchyard at Holy Innocents Church, Southwater in July. Watch this space for updates!
In the same vein we have finally gather sufficient information to put forward a case to the CWGC for a memorial for John Knight who served in the Coldstream Guards, was invalided out and shortly afterwards committed suicide. All the evidence point to this sad event being precipitated by what we would today call post traumatic stress and we are waiting to see if John can be one of the first men who died suffering from this condition to be awarded a formal memorial.
Wednesday 11th November 2015 – A Memorial For Henry
Earlier in the year we were delighted to announce that, working with the "In From The Cold" organisation, we had been able to get proper CWGC recognition for Henry Bennet who served in the Royal Sussex Regiment in France and died of service contracted TB at home in Cross Lane in 1919. We can now add the further good news that the CWGC have now been in contact with Holy Innocents Church, Southwater where Henry is buried, with a view to organising the exection of a proper memorial. Watch this space for further updates!
Friday 23rd October 2015 – The Books Have Arrived!
Both books have now been received from the printers and we are ready to start selling. For details click on the "Bookshop" button at the top of any page. More about our sales plans will appear in the November issue of the BigMag. Also at the top of the page you will see a link to our new Forum where you can share your thoughts, ideas and questions about the project - feel free to give it a go.
Book 1 is now at the printers and book 2 is almost there! Our plan is an Autumn launch so keep your eyes on the BigMag for further information on this and a couple of other interesting project developments.
A bit of a delay from the last update I know but we have been busy getting the books ready for the publisher, refreshing the website and, for half the team - moving to Cornwall!
But things are now moving smoothly and the books are with our publisher!
Watch this space for more news.
> One of the men on our memorial, Henry Bennet, was fortunate enough to survive the shells and bullets but only to die at home in Cross Lane of Tuberculosis exacerbated by his time in the trenches.
At the time such men were not really counted as casualties of war and as such not were not recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission registers.
Attitudes have changed however and, with help from "In From The Cold", an organisation dedicated to gathering in those who died in the service of their country without proper recognition, we lobbied the CWGC for Henry's inclusion.
Just before Christmas we received the great news that our request had been accepted!
Henry is now included in the CWGC record and in due course should get a proper headstone to mark his burial in the churchyard of Holy Innocents, Southwater.
The project has now been running for about 6 months and, after a really successful kick off exhibition in November were are now heavily involved in writing the book. In fact it will be two books, or rather two volumes. The first will tell the story of the Parish in Wartime; the second the stories of the men who served, and in some cases died for their country.
As we dig into the records the more men we find and the better we understand just what those days must have been like for the people of Itchingfield, Barns Green and Christ's Hospital....and we are looking forward to sharing all this.
We have found a publisher that we are excited about working with and are aiming to get our material ready for her by Easter All being well we should be able to publish during the summer so books will be ready by the time Christmas Lists start to get compiled!
If you want to get on the list to be notified as soon as the books are ready please mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org