We Will Remember Them.

During the latter part of 2017 Thorpe Willoughby Parish Council agreed to look into the possibility of utilising a section of the village green (between Fox Lane and the Christmas Tree compound) for use by and benefit of the community.  The plan incorporated the construction of a concreted circle with seating around the circumference.  Furthermore, a memorial to commemorate those fallen in conflict was proposed.  The project was to be funded by a mixture of precept money and external funding.

Brackenhill Quarries, Pontefract, quoted for a memorial constructed from Brackenhill sandstone blocks with chiselled faces.  The memorial was made up of four courses and inscribed by the words, Remembering lives given in conflicts worldwide to save our freedom for ever R.I.P.  This was accepted by the Council.

The Parish Council planning group suggested that the memorial was unveiled by a local dignitary and blessed by a minister of religion.  Furthermore, the Royal British Legion were invited to participate.  A young singer from the village also agreed to provide a musical interlude during the proceedings.

Fast forward to Saturday September 1, 2018.  A late summer afternoon bathed in warm sunshine, higher than average temperatures and hardly a cloud in the azure sky.

The unveiling was left in the capable hands of Cllr David Buckle, chairman of Selby District Council who set the tone for the occasion.  The blessing, prayers and additional message were conducted by Rev Pete Watson of St Francis church Thorpe Willoughby.  The Royal British Legion were represented by Mr Barry Johnston, chairman of the South Milford branch who was ably assisted by their own standard bearer.  Music during the ceremony was provided by the young but extremely talented Isabella Robey who was accompanied by her father Will on acoustic guitar.  A wreath, provided by a local councillor, was laid at the foot of the memorial.  This was followed by the playing of the Last Post.

Mr Stephen Parker, from Brackenhill Quarries, was an invited guest.  The event was well attended by members of our community who also enjoyed the light refreshments that were provided.

Special thanks are extended to those who gave up their time to ensure that the event was a success: the four Thorpe Willoughby football coaches, Mark Spooner, Andrew Bobby Moor, Rose Ramnauth and John Carter responsible for the erection and dismantling of the gazebos.  Councillors Smith, Pearse and Parkinson for the finger food, light refreshments, memorial cover, flower pots and other ancillary items too numerous to mention.

The project is not yet complete.  Some planters, adding colour and vibrancy, will be included next year.  It has been described as a little oasis or a refuge where one can go to with a book or newspaper.  To relax or to contemplate how much we owe to those who are no longer with us.

Bert Mifsud

Chairman Thorpe Willoughby Parish Council.