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Forgotten memorials marked

On Sunday members of Devizes Royal British Legion took part in a pilgrimage to the Veteran’s Day at the Nation Armed Forces Day in Salisbury.

The aim was to commemorate the fallen from all three services and raise the profile of military memorials in Wiltshire. There were 18 branch members, including one 94 year old WW2 veteran.

We visited seven war memorials between Devizes and Airman’s Corner culminating as part of the celebrations in Salisbury.

“We met at Devizes War Memorial for an Act of Remembrance and Kohima Epitaph at 1000hrs on Sun 30 Jun and laid a wreath at the memorial and where appropriate laid a Poppy Cross next to Commonwealth War Graves. We then did the same at the following memorials; Potterne, West Lavington, Tilshead, Orcheston, Shrewton and the two crosses at Airman’s Corner and Fargo Wood at Stonehenge. We then completed the pilgrimage by driving to Hudson’s Field to join in the celebrations and watch the world record breaking human poppy attempt.

“We were joined by local dignitaries at some, including our mayor, Cllr Judy Rose. Additionally we contacted the IWM and CWGC to give them photos and details of each location and what remains were contained there, so they could update their records.

“We wanted to bring to the public’s attention that there are local war graves that do not receive any visitors from one year to the next and, by seeing what we were doing they might show an interest, not just around Armistice Day but throughout the year. There is little so sad as seeing a neglected war grave or memorial.”

Bob Haslam, Chairman

Information wanted

I AM in the process of revising, for republication, my small book Some Notable Wiltshire Quarrymen. Copies are probably still available in libraries.

Although all the major characters are now dead, there may be living people who can send me information about them or about others in the extensive Genealogical Table.

I am particularly - but not exclusively - interested in the Barnett, Bishop, Cainey, Cole, Dancey, Hancock, Knott, Light, Lodge, Mizen, Shepherd, Tinson families - some not for SNWQ, but for later use.

It may be, also, that there have been found photographs of some of the men mentioned in SNWQ, or even of others not mentioned - all preferably in `quarrying attire’. There may be previously unseen photographs taken underground or nearby.

Whatever it may be, I shall welcome any additional information, pictorial or written, for copying; and I undertake to return anything, where return has been requested.

E-mail replies will be welcome to or posted.

Roger Wilson-Tucker, 18 Springfield Grove, Westbury Park, Bristol

Lets thank everyone

MANY welcomed and enjoyed the events marking ‘Armed Forces Day’.

But I wonder why we set no day aside to celebrate the work and achievements of say, our health professionals, or the police, or farmers, or journalists. Margaret Thatcher asserted ‘There is no such thing as society’ - but there clearly is. We are all dependent on others and interdependent.

In the First and Second World Wars almost everyone contributed in some way to the war effort. And even today there are many unsung civilian ‘heroes’ - performing vital roles in our society; and just as deserving of recognition and thanks as the armed forces.

John Boaler, Woodland Park, Calne

Whose fault is this?

THE hoary old chestnut that 90 per cent of scientists agree that climate change is happening has been raised again. Well, we can all agree on that as something perfectly natural. What they can’t agree on is the extent to which human activity may be attributing to it.

However, any scientist who dares to disagree with the present narrative is in danger of losing his job as happened recently to Dr Peter Ridd of Cook University in Australia. Thankfully, he took them to court for wrongful dismissal and won his case. In any case, how come climate change is now the issue when it used to be global warming?

I would argue that any extreme weather event is claimed deliberately to be due to climate change which is so much more dramatic isn’t it?

And we are led to believe that these things never happened in the past and they are all our fault!

Meanwhile we are being driven into energy poverty while China and India are relentlessly building hundreds more coal fired power stations whose emissions totally dwarf any savings that we are being forced to make.

The issue neatly fits in with the UN’s plans as set out in their Agendas 2021 and now 2030 on sustainable development.

Christiana Figueres, an official of the IPPC, has been recorded to say that global warming is not really the issue, it is all about redistributing wealth around the world.

Research these things.

Rowland Pantling, Broomcroft Road, Pewsey

Depressing prospect

Based on his track record to date I was amazed to see that Philip Whitehead has been annointed by his Conservative colleagues as the new Leader of Wiltshire Council.

As the then Cabinet member for Finance, Cllr Whitehead bears much responsibility for the hotly disputed attempt to sell-off Braeside and Oxenwood; and the equally unpopular plans for new Special Schooling provision.

The manner in which WC tried to circumvent democratic consultation on these proposals not only created outrage locally, but also brought the Council into disrepute at a national level with Private Eye magazine twice including articles in its Rotten Boroughs section.

Events during Cllr Whitehead’s prior role in Highways and Public Transport also give rise to questions about respect for due process.

His involvement (both as Cabinet Member responsible and also as the local Councillor) in the ridiculous decision to create a PROW through the grounds of Urchfont Primary School is a case in point. This decision has now been overturned by a public enquiry, despite costly legal efforts by WC to uphold it.

The illegal attempt by WC to declare private land in Royal Wootton Bassett to be a village green bears a disturbing similarity. This decision was also overturned (by the Court of Appeal) at a further cost to local taxpayers

Admittedly, Cllr Whitehead does take his wider ‘pastoral’ responsibilities seriously, and recently asked Urchfont Parish Council to complain formally to the local Church magazine about the inclusion of an article by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Good to see someone go the extra mile to shield his constituents from the baleful influence of these religious ne’er-do-wells

Given the lack of competence shown by the Tory Party in Government we clearly can’t expect too much from them at local level.

Nonetheless it is a thoroughly depressing prospect if Philip Whitehead is the best person they can find to lead them.

W Barnett, Eastcott Common, Devizes

Link with history

Congratulations and a big thanks to everyone who were involved with the planning and all arrangements for the recent Forces Weekend at Trowbridge. This was a wonderful event for which as a town we can be proud. The thousands of people who attended on Saturday and Sunday will without doubt take away special memories. For me it was the procession through the town on Sunday afternoon, led by gun carriage and the band of The Band of Royal Artillery. Followed by the Shrewton Silver Band proudly playing the Regimental March of the Wiltshire Regiment - To be a farmers Boy.

I wonder if many of the large crowd lining Market Street would have realized that this marked an historical connection with the past. The anniversary of something which still features so prominently in the life of the town. In the summer of 1939, William Nelson Haden presented the bandstand in the park. I was just a small boy in the large crowd watching the ceremony. I have however a newspaper cutting from the time which reports that performing was the Band of The Royal Artillery Portsmouth which in an amazing way spans the years and links up with the event of today.

Stanley H. Jones, Hilperton Marsh

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