2014, Commemorative WW1 Service.

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Roger Wheeler as an OH and former Chief of the General Staff was a special guest alongside Neil Parish MP for Tiverton and Honiton at the War Memorial Rededication and Homage to the Fallen Service at Rousdon on Monday 4th August, one hundred years  to the day since The United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland declared war on Germany. Other OHs present  amongst some 150 people at the service included Roddy Long, Giles and Gru Blomfield, Derek Blooman,  Rosemary and Dick Sidwell, Alec Crawford ,Graham and Mary Jones and Bob and Julia Oliver

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It was a moving occasion as the War Memorial, located on the grass immediately opposite the main gates to the Rousdon Estate,  was rededicated and a Homage to the Fallen was read for each of the 13 servicemen from Combpyne Rousdon who fell during the First World War. We were reminded that the War Memorial is unique in that it started life as a mile stone and it was only after the First World War when Sir Wilfred Peek had the names of the fallen added that it became a war memorial, although until this service it is believed that it had never been officially dedicated as a war memorial.

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One could not but also recall that the Memorial Boards now in St Michael’s Church, Honiton record the names of 64 OHs who gave their lives during the 1914 – 18 War.

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After the service there was a series of talks in the Peek Hall and also an exhibition “Combpyne Rousdon Remembers” including many quotes from letters and diaries of men from the area who served in the war, much of the material being displayed in public for the first time. The afternoon ended with cream teas and a raffle in the gardens of North Lodge during which £730 was raised for the Royal  British Legion.

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The day ended with  more than 80 people attending the Lights Out Vigil at the War Memorial when all candles and lights were extinguished at 11.00pm, exactly 100 years from the start of the war.

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