Great War Memorial Unveiled at Simeon Green
On 14 September the Parish Council was delighted to conclude its latest Great War project and unveil a memorial at the Simeon Green (Little Gatcombe) to the servicemen and residents of Newport who fought, served and died during the First World War 1914-18.
In attendance was John Matthews, Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Vice-Chair of Isle of Wight Council, Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox and, representing the Royal British Legion, County President Ian Ward who gave the exhortation. A short ceremony took place involving a blessing by the Reverend Marcus Bagg and a laying of flowers by Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox and Parish Council Vice-Chair Cllr Jane Perry. Standard bearers from the Royal British and a bugler performing the last post contributed to the ceremony.
The Parish Council would like to thank Emerald Construction for their work on the site, Eccleston George for the producing the memorial, Island Paving for their kind donation of the stone, in addition to everyone involved with the project and the members of the public and guests who attended.
The project was conceived by Cllrs Martin, Hobart and Whiteman. Giving his opening remarks and background to the project Cllr Whiteman said: ‘after the success of providing the silhouettes down on the Medina Riverbank to commemorate the young men of Newport, who lost their lives in Gallipoli in 1915, it was felt by myself, Cllr.Terry Martin, Cllr John Hobart and our Technical Officer Chris Hougham, that we should provide a long lasting permanent memorial on Simeon Green, to encompass all the services of Newport who gave their lives during the 1914/1918 Great War. It is hoped this may inspire the younger ones to ask questions and hopefully to visit the local library, or more likely the internet, to see what their own family connection was to the Great War.’
Dedication of First World War Sculptures
A dedication ceremony took place on the banks of the River Medina to commemorate those who served and those who lost their lives at Gallipoli 100 years ago. Life size silhouettes have been erected as well as an interpretation board.
Newport Parish Council developed the project, along with local historian Mark Earp, as a commemoration to the men from Newport who served and those that died in the Great War (1914 to 1918).
It was there that they suffered serious causalities as part of an attacking force that lost eight officers and close to 300 other ranks (killed or missing) including three brothers, whose parents lived in nearby Orchard Street, and their brother-in-law, who sadly all lost their lives and have no known graves. The 8th Hants (Isle of Wight Rifles) went on to serve in Egypt and Mesopotamia in 1917 to 1918. The sculpture commemorates these men and many other local men who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War and are also remembered on the War Memorial in St.Thomas Square.
During the short service the sculptures were blessed by the Rev Kevin Arkell and flowers were laid by the Chairman of the IW Council, Charles Chapman and Newport PC Chairman, Julie Jones-Evans
10 standard bearers were in attendance, with the last post sounded by a member of the Vectis Corp of Drums. Cllr Ian Ward gave the exhortation as County Chairman of the British Legion. Guests included Andrew Turner MP, David Langford, Deputy Lord Lieutenant, as well as descendants of the IW Rifles servicemen.
Newport PC Chairman said ‘It is a supreme honour for the Parish Council to have been able to produce this lasting WW1 memorial. The silhouettes on the riverbank are poignant and thought provoking in their simplicity. I feel this monument is a fitting tribute to the terrible loss suffered by the IW Rifles at Gallipoli and to Newport. Mrs Urry’s boys have come home at last.’
Watch the video below of Mark Earp, local historian who assisted greatly with the project, giving a thought-provoking speech and some background information on the project and significance of the sculpture.
Great War Memorial – Children’s Competition
As the local Parish Council we are planning a number of projects to commemorate the centenary of the Great War up to November 2018, the centenary of the Armistice.
We are keen to involve local schools and youth organisations in developing ideas and particular projects that we will place in the public domain. Our first idea was a competition where the children submit a letter to or from the front about the War.
We thought that this would allow children to do some of their own research and prepare a short letter without impacting on their other studies.
We had several entries from Newport CE Primary School in the 9 to 10 years of age group:
Charlotte Elsom – Read Here
Morgan Richardson – Read Here
Caitlin Priddle (WW2) – Read Here
‘Benji’ – Click Here