Stanton St Quintin residents turned out in force for the unveiling of an overdue war memorial for the village.

Nick Greene, church warden of St Giles, researched the history of the village’s war dead assuming Stanton St Quintin was a Thankful Village, meaning all soldiers had returned home, due to the lack of a memorial.

He found that this wasn’t the case, but that in the First World War 44 men left the village, 12 of whom were injured and five killed.

The 6ft high memorial was unveiled on Thursday by North Wiltshire MP James Gray and Royal British Legion stalwart Derek Tilney. More than 100 villagers, schoolchildren and soldiers from the nearby Hullavington Barracks attended.

Mr Greene said: “We had lovely bright weather and it was amazing how many people turned up.

“Derek Tilney brought along a flag which we covered the memorial with and at the appropriate moment we pulled the flag off and everyone gasped in awe. It’s really beautiful.

“I spoke to the school children about why it was made and pointed out that no public money was used for it, it all came from people living in the village.”

Each pupil had a cross which they put in front of the 12 graves of RAF crew members killed between early 1940 and mid 1941 while they trained on bombers at Hullavington airfield.

The total cost of the build was £5,800, which came from sources in and around the village including a £2,000 donation from an anonymous benefactor, £250 from Stanton Manor Hotel and £500 from Hullavington Barracks.

Also among those who also lent a hand were 13-year-old Beatrice Baskett who raised £176 from the sale of popies she knitted.