At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month…..Sulgrave remembers………….


Photo: Jo Powell

Owing to the pandemic regulations, it was not possible for the usual Remembrance Service to be held in the Church, with the names of the fallen being read out in front of the war memorial as they have been without a break for a hundred years. Rather unusually there is, of course, no permanent outside memorial in Sulgrave. At the “Zoom” Parish Council meeting held on 5th November, under “Public Participation” Graham Roberts commented that the village would be failing in its collective duty to let the anniversary pass with no commemoration at all. This view was endorsed by Parish Council Chairman, Richard Fonge and in the discussion that followed it was unanimously agreed that arrangements should be made for people to observe the two minutes silence on Castle Green. In order to provide a focus of attention and a place for the deposit of wreaths, it was further agreed that the “soldier silhouette” currently near the village stocks, should be moved to Castle Green on the morning of the 11th November.

The weather was appropriately sombre as many village people of all ages quietly gathered amongst the autumn leaves. The silence was only broken by the notes of the Church clock striking eleven, immediately followed by the sounding of the Last Post by Chris Kirkpatrick. People were left alone with their thoughts until the sounding of Reveille two minutes later.

Parish Council Chairman Richard Fonge then read out a Great War Poem (see end of this item) followed by the names of the eighteen men and women of the village who lost their lives in two world wars. Richard McCrow then read out the traditional words of remembrance:

“When you go home, tell them of us and say

For your tomorrow, we gave our today”

“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old,

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them”.

Wreaths were then placed at the soldier’s feet by Richard Fonge on behalf of the village and by Donald Taylor on behalf of the British Legion.

See next page for some photos of this event (Click on “Read the rest of this item”.)



An explanation of the reasons for the event on Castle Green.



Sounding the “Last Post”.


The names of the fallen.


The words of remembrance.


Laying of the British Legion wreath.


The Sulgrave Village wreath.





I am indebted to the members of the Sulgrave Camera Club for these photographs. Ed.

This was the very poignant poem read out by Richard Fonge:

“Our hands go out in praise today
No greater love is yet.

Give thanks to them in memory
Lest we forget, lest we forget

Freedom? Yes! How great the price
But you died not in vain.

Today we give praise to you
Whatever your name.

Our land is free because of you
Both here and oversees

No my lad we don’t forget
The price of Liberty.

So gallantly you fought the fight
For the freedom that was won

So now we sing a worthy praise
To every mothers son

And now to those who did return
Whose lives are badly marred

To the mother with a saddened face
And heart so deeply scarred

We celebrate in memory
The greatest battle yet.

Let all unite in solemn praise
Lest we forget, lest we forget.”

Lest We Forget. Lucille Stafford


Editor’s Note: On Remembrance Day, Molly and I were in the midst of a fourteen day Covid self-isolation order and so it was with great regret that we were unable to attend this evidently truly moving event. We kept the two minutes silence on our doorstep but we were with everyone on Castle Green in spirit. I was reflecting that for over seventy years I have attended these ceremonies in small churchyards all over South Northants, made more poignant when thinking of my relatives from the village who number amongst the fallen. My father and I did miss one, in fact, when I took him in his later years to attend the ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres where his brother is numbered amongst the many fallen who have no known graves.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who supported us during our self isolation, with daily phone and text messages and items delivered to our doorstep. We are very lucky to live in this genuinely community minded village and it is during an emergency of this kind that the presence of kindly and helpful neighbours is most appreciated.

Colin and Molly Wootton



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