Reactions to the Remembrance Installation
- BBC South East Today
View the news item via the BBC South East Today Facebook page here
- "The Times" of Tunbridge Wells
This piece from Adam Hignett is spot on.
You can read it here
- "In Penshurst Village Church"
A poem by Martin Milmo, inspired by the Installation.
Published here with his permission.
You can download the poem here (PDF - 13kb)
- A film of the Installation
by Gordon Streeter of Penshurst
View the film via youTube here
Penshurst Reflects 1914 - 2014
Penshurst's Memorial for the Fallen of the village from World War One lists 50 men, the youngest, Private Noel Baker aged just seventeen.
In the Spring of 2014, a group of like-minded villagers came together, wanting to create a memorable Event for the village to help us all reflect upon the effects of the war, both locally and nationally.
Under the auspices of the Friends of Penshurst Church, we actually decided to produce three separate but interlinked projects: a high quality book, an exhibition and an evening event.
At the core of all our projects is the research carried out by Christine Rose, Andy Bodle and Robert Rees.
In full colour and over 64 pages, this details all that we can find about every man on the Memorial, along with photographs, obituaries (from press and school magazines) and a time line through the war. It is a high quality production with a semi-firm cover and bound with poppy-red cotton, very generously sponsored by KCC under the guidance of Clive Pearman.
You can download a PDF version of the book here (PDF - 2.1Mb)
Penshurst Church, until 20th November. Open every day, free entry. It details the life stories we can find about of all our Fallen on the memorial. It formally Opened on Saturday 4th October. Our Guest speaker, Maj. (Retd.) Richard Streatfeild, MBE, of Afghanistan and Chiddingstone, gave a very powerful and moving speech.
Stephen Johnston of HJ Johnston & Sons Ltd, Penshurst, hand-crafted eight specially designed display stands and we have also been gifted all the exhibition printing by David Harkness of Regency Design & Print.
The display is in the newly opened up north aisle as the first display for this area, from which the pews have been removed, as part of the church restoration recently undertaken.
We also have a 'Wall of Remembrance' which we want to cover in Poppies by the 11th of the 11th of the 11th. To do this you buy a specially commissioned wristband in the church on which is written 'Penshurst Reflects', and for that you may also place a poppy into the Wall, which we will supply. We would like as many people as possible to wear their wristband with pride as a united demonstration that Penshurst does indeed Remember its Fallen.
The Main Event
On Saturday November 1st we held a very special Event to honour the Fallen of Penshurst.
This was exactly 100 years to the day that Penshurst lost its first man in the First World War - Able Seaman Ernest Chandler, in the Battle of Coronel, off Chile.
Ian Palmer of the BBC presented a beautifully crafted preview on the night before the Event and this helped us achieve standing room only on the 1st.
The men deserved no less.
We were delighted that Julian, Lord Hardinge of Penshurst agreed to be Guest of Honour, travelling up from Devon for the evening. His grandfather was Private Secretary to three kings and was therefore deeply involved in many affairs of state around the time of the Second World War.
Three cousins from the Hardinge family were to lose their lives in The Great War and the family won two MC's and a DSO. Major Patrick Robert Hardinge, MC, left the nation with remarkable diaries and letters, published in 1917, from which we heard on the evening, read by the well known actor Ralph Aiken, whose family live locally.
Partly using the research that made up the book and the Exhibition, local readers talked about how our men lived their lives, as well as how they died.
We had poems you may have heard of, and some you may not. We had original music, commissioned for the evening, heard for the first time in public and we had a bugler to play The Last Post.
As guests arrived, and thanks to the Headteacher, Julia Armstrong, and Claire Rees, the school children from years 5 and 6 sang their very special songs from their WW1 play that received such resounding praise from all quarters at the end of the Summer term.
The Becket Trustees Art Competition
In the summer, Linn Lee of The Becket Trust came to us with a request to be involved, particularly if that involvement could somehow engage with the children of the village. With the enthusiastic support of the village school (for which we are all very grateful) we therefore created an Arts Competition for the Trust to organise and run.
Judged by Sandy Gall, CMG, CBE (who lives in Penshurst) it has categories for art, poetry, prose and modelmaking. All children aged 9-12 this year, whether at the village school or not, were able to enter.
The entries are simply remarkable and you can see them all in the church on the other side of the Exhibition featuring the Fallen.
Sandy Gall judges the Becket Trustees Arts Competition
Should you have any questions please do get in touch.
David Lough, Andy Bodle, Christine Rose, Martin Barraud
Robert Rees, James Lee, Christine Rose, Martin Barraud