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Hall Becomes Village's New Memorial on Armistice Day

Thursday 25 November 2010, 21:46
By Western Gazette

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A five year project to build a war memorial for Charlton Musgrove reached its conclusion when the new village hall hosted a ceremony to commemorate Armistice Day. A team of three villagers, Stephen Nathan, Nick Amery and Chris Mieville worked tirelessly to plan and manage the project to give Charlton Musgrove a fitting tribute to fallen soldiers from the village.

Standard bearers from the Old Dorset Comrades and the Rifles were joined by a bugler who had recently returned from Afghanistan for the dedication service.

Mr. Nathan said: "We used a plaque that had been in the old hall as the basis of our research for fallen soldiers. After a lot of painstaking research and help from many villagers and the Royal British Legion in Wincanton, we found there were two names missing from the plaque.

"We also agreed we should add any names of those who had died in conflicts subsequent to the end of the Second World War."

Resident Beryl Carroll, sister of Pilot Officer Frederick Pepper who was killed in action while flying a Hurricane in Burma, aged 20, was present to give a short speech.

Ginny Lighton, 80, whose father Sir Christopher Lighton donated the land on which the new memorial hall was built, travelled from Salisbury to pay her respects and was impressed with the project.

She said: "It is a marvellous tribute and it's wonderful to see the building in all its glory. My father would have been able to see the hall from his cottage. He would have been very proud."

Mr. Mieville said he became involved in the project after realising there was no external war memorial in the village.

"The spark that lit the fuse to get us to dedicate a memorial stone to the fallen of Charlton Musgrove started for me in 2005 as a newcomer to the village," he said. "I proposed a memorial to be either built as part of the hall or a standalone construction. I was delighted to find support for my proposal and a project team was set up."

A Portland stone tribute crafted by Bruton stonemason Karl Friedrich stands outside the entrance to the hall, embedded in the wall. A plaque in the hall bears the names of 14 soldiers from the village who lost their lives serving the country.

Article first published in the Western Gazette


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