THE renovation of a village  memorial site has led to plans for a re-dedication ceremony to honour local heroes.

Beginning next week, a series of events will take place within Northop Hall to celebrate both the new face of the Cenotaph and memorial site, and the village’s fallen soldiers.

The memorial site renovations were made possible through a grant from the Heritage Lottery Funding and Armed Forces community covenant grant funding in 2016.

The cash will also fund research into the lives of the 11 fallen men from Northop Hall who fought in the First World War.

Village groups and residents are also partaking in the project, and the research discovered will be merged into a book which all residents in the village will receive.

Cllr Linda Thew, of Northop Hall Community Council, has expressed an appeal to relatives of those  commemorated on the memorial for both World Wars to attend the upcoming events, and share information about their loved ones. 

She said: “There are a few soldiers that we would dearly love to have more information and photos of. Part of the Heritage Lottery Grant is to write a book about our Village Heroes, and the more information the better.”

Villagers were also busy this weekend planting bulbs as a contribution to the site’s improvement.

Offficial ceremonies begin on Friday, November 3 at 6.30pm with a torch-lit walk starting and finishing at the renovated memorial site after a loop of the village.

Candles will then be lit for the 17 servicemen who died in the both World Wars before name plaques commemorating each serviceman will be tied to the garden gates where they were born or lived as the walk proceeds.

The re-dedication ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 5 at 1pm, as a multi-denominational service by the Revs Balfour, Hodgins and Hainsworth and Friar Stewart.

Children are invited to plant
spring bulbs in the new raised flower beds before a ceremonial pouring of soil from servicemen’s own home gardens onto these beds.

An RAF serviceman will then read Laurence Binyon’s Ode of Remembrance – ‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn’ – before refreshments and an exhibition about our ‘Village Heroes’ at the Pavilion.

Remembrance services will be held on Friday, November 10 at 10.30am for a pupils’ service at St Mary's Church and a short service of Rememberance will also be held on Sunday, November 12 at 11am.

At noon on Rememberance Sunday, there will be a service with the Rev Dr Richard Hainsworth.

Royal British Legion representatives and the Scout and Cubs will be attending.

The exhibition is open in St Mary’s Church, Northop Hall, on Friday, November 10 from 5-7pm and on Saturday from 10am-4pm.