The Crewkerne Branch of the Royal British Legion held a WW1 Thank You event at Severalls in commemoration of the 100th year since the end of the First World War, as they remembered those who fell, their families and their communities. A WW1 carving by Rob Beckinsale presented to the RBL by Crewkerne Town Council was placed at the foot of the lone standing infantryman (Tommy soldier). 152 pebbles kindly donated by Bradfords of Crewkerne and inscribed by RBL branch members with the names of the 127 men of Crewkerne and the 25 former Crewkerne Grammar School boys, who fell in the Great War, was placed on the war memorial with a cascade of poppies made by Sandie and Tony Smith, Viv Green, Alice and Tony Samuel.
Following the Exhortation by RBL chairman Tony Samuel, the flag was lowered by standard bearer Brian Forster, the Last Post sounded by Mark Barrett and a one minute silence was held. The Reveille and the Kohima Epitaph read by Terry Austin was followed by a short dedication service delivered by the Reverend Stuart Huntley. Reverend Huntley also read a poem Dust To Dust, written by the Second World War veteran Dennis Hawes who survived three beach landings. Crewkerne Mayor, Kathy Head lit a candle to reflect on the memory of the Fallen which was placed at the war memorial and allowed to burn through the night.
The solemn part of the occasion given due respect, residents of Severalls Park Avenue enjoyed a tea party on the Green, where the Branch thanked the community by serving drinks and cakes to their guests. Secretary of Crewkerne Branch of the Royal British Legion, Alice Samuel said: “It was a lovely time to use the Green, the community gathered to share stories and it was a time to thank different people for various tasks because without them, the event would not have happened.”
RBL Chairman Tony Samuel would like to thank his committee and branch who set up and baked the cakes and pastries. Special thanks to Reverend Huntley, the Mayor Kathy Head and to Lee Doble from Bradfords. The Legion’s thanks are also extended to the 1st Crewkerne Scouts, Beavers and Cubs who have been caring for Severalls Green by litter picking, watering the garden and helped by providing tables and chairs on the day. A big thank you to Norman and Durta who are part of the neighbourhood watch in Severalls Park Avenue and provided tea and coffee with Norman allowing the RBL to use his electricity to heat the water and Durta placing tablecloths and vases of flowers on each table.
Thanks to Nigel from Avenue Stores for the milk and squash, Kevin Wetherall who loaned his hand-crafted sweet trolley, branch member Viv Green for the wonderful WW1 cake, Crewkerne Town Council for the loan of the gazebos and groundsmen Jason and Lewis for preserving the wood carving and fixing it in place. To master wood carver Rob Beckinsale, SSDC for allowing the event on the Green and to Kate Hurley, RBL County Secretary who attended and ended up helping to serve the refreshments.
Alice Samuel said: “The memorial at Severalls is very important to Crewkerne RBL and to its community and now having the carving set at the foot of the Tommy, we will always remember them.”