Sunday 21st September saw the village of Kingsley and its wider parish coming together to commemorate the centenary of the start of the first world war.
The day was chosen as it was on the eve of the centenary of the parish’s first fatality when George Harris Smith lost his life when his ship was sunk in the north sea whilst serving with the Royal Navy.
A very fitting and at times moving service in St Werburgh’s Church was conducted by the Reverend Carol Richardson with over a hundred persons present including school children from the local school who gave their thoughts on what the war meant to them.
A cross of candles was lit by the congregation with readings and the poem In Flanders Field by John McCrae recited during the act of commemoration.
This saw the 27 names on the villages war memorials read out plus the addition of Leonard Edwards who died as a result of his war service but seems to have been missed out.
Present were descendants of some of those remembered as well as the small committee that have been working on the event for the last few months.
Either side of the church service the village hall was open and again over a hundred people visited a display of research conducted into the 28 from the area who are on the war memorials with of course the exception being Leonard Edwards.
Some of the families bought photographs and other mementos of their descendants and shared them with the community.
Martin Clewlow who is a descendant of James Millward from Kingsley Moor (who survived the war) and featured in a Cheadle and Tean Times article earlier this year attended and put on a display of memorabilia from the war which was of great interest to both young and old alike.
As a result of event several families provided additional information and lines of enquiry to the committee in their quest to document as much as possible about the lives of those who died and their links with Kingsley.
The day was a real community event and one that allowed everyone to pause and reflect in a most appropriate way. Those who had spent several months researching these men felt this time was different when their names were read out. It was ninety four years that week since Leonard Edwards died as the result of his war service and this event was the first time his name had ever been read out.
The research and display created by the committee will now be loaned to St Werburgh’s school to allow the children studying the war to better understand its impact on the local community.
Meanwhile the project is continuing in its research and proposed works around the war memorial. If anyone has any information on those listed below or anyone that might have been missed off the memorials to date then they can get in touch with Martyn on 01538 750657 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. They would particularly like to hear from Peter Capewell from Tean who’s story of the Capewell brothers from Kingsley Moor also featured in this newspaper earlier this year.