Alnmouth honours its war heroes

Back in 1921 the country was trying to recover from the human cost and crippling debt of the Great War, and the devastation of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 11:00 am

Of a population of around 500, almost a third of Alnmouth households’ men went to war, and 21 of them did not come back.

Two decades later, World War Two claimed the lives of 10 servicemen and eight civilians– seven of whom died in the Argyle Street bombing.

Cue forward 100 years and the country is once again coping with a devastating pandemic which has claimed many lives and resulted in huge debt so, although times have changed dramatically, there are significant parallels with the time of the first war memorial dedication in 1921.

Alnmouth WI steering team members Kathryn Archibald, Judith Williams, Celia Collinson and Pam Muggleton at the memorial.

WI members Pam Muggleton and Celia Collinson came up with the idea of commemorating the centenary and started to research the history of the names mentioned on it.

Pam said: “Our aim from the start was to write tributes which tell the stories and bring to life the names of the servicemen and civilians who are named on the war memorial.

“By posting the stories in prominent places around the village, like the phone box and The Servicemen’s Club, we are sharing the heroes’ stories with a whole new generation.”

Celia added: “The tributes have enabled us to learn about the men and women of the village, and not just see them as names on a plaque.

Missy Rose (6), Georgia Youll (8) and Alexa Joy (8) are pictured with tribute stones laid at the service.

"To watch the children laying the tribute stones at the rededication service and to see Geoff Holmes, a visitor pointing out his grandfather on the banner was very special.”

Alnmouth WI secretary, Kathryn Archibald, said: “What started as a simple idea grew into a major collaboration between the WI, our village clergy, the parish council, the burgage holders, RAF Boulmer and many villagers. I am very proud to have been part of this inspirational project.”

Bunting was hand-stitched by 30 WI and village ladies who embroidered pennants with the ‘100’ logo and poppies.

Wreaths were laid and a moving service was delivered by Revs Lynda Coulthard and Barrie Cooper.

Argyle Street bombing survivor, Bob Widdrington has shared details his experience with an account in the bus shelter.

Pandy Phillips hand painted tribute stones which were laid by children.

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