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Kineton group’s idea to honour war heroes

Kineton's existing War Memorial, which honours the armed forces personnel who lost their lives. Picture courtesy of www.heart-of-england.net

Kineton's existing War Memorial, which honours the armed forces personnel who lost their lives. Picture courtesy of www.heart-of-england.net

In the first of four years commemorating the centenary of the First World War, a group of villagers in Kineton are setting out on a unique project to remember some forgotten heroes.

In what they think is a national first, the group, led by Graeme Bassett, is hoping to erect a monument in the village to commemorate the soldiers who fought in the First World War - and survived.

Kineton already has a war memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives, but since announcing their idea to the wider village, the group - which by its research had come up with a list of 200 men - has discovered all sorts of interesting stories about surviving soldiers who came back to Kineton and did many other things.

Mr Bassett, who came up with the idea, said: “It’s amazing that more than 200 of them came back. Some of them suffered a life of hell afterwards with shell-shock and trauma.

“I spoke to a woman whose grandfather was dismissed because his foot had been blown off. He ended up being a cobbler in the village, mending people’s shoes. There are lots of things coming out of the woodwork.”

Mr Bassett explained that the starting point for the project was a list of villagers who were on the roll of honour unearthed by Kineton and District History Group member Gill Ashley-Smith, who published it in her book, Kineton In The Great War.

Speaking after a recent Kineton parish council meeting, at which the project was discussed, council chairman Cllr David Gosling said: “For the moment, the parish council supports it and we are looking at planning issues and funding opportunities.”

The council will vote on whether to approve the proposals later this month.

 

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