Sunday, December 5th, 2021

Books, films, a wall hanging and silhouettes add new dimensions to the Armistice Day commemorations in Weald

REMEMBRANCE 2018: On Sunday 11 November 2018, the 100th anniversary Armistice Day 1918, when the guns fell silent, signifying the end of hostilities, Weald village marked the event in many different ways.

Commemorations started with the showing of the film ‘War Horse, based on a novel written by Michael Morpurgo. There were poppies on the trees surrounding the village green with the names of the fallen, and the Brownies created ‘poppies’ from red bun cases and displayed them in the village shop. A wall hanging was ‘stitched’ and the 18 men who fell were represented there as well as in the moving installation in St George’s Church along with a ‘specially created film ‘Distance’ based on a poem of the same name written by Elizabeth Miller.

Sheila Hocking’s research not only revealed the stories of those who did not come back and their families but also of the 50+ men who did make it back, some severely wounded and most traumatised by what they had witnessed and lived through.  A wall stitched hanging was made by a group of nine ladies in the village which now hangs in the Memorial Hall.

On the morning of the 11th, St George’s Church was full of young and old coming to pay their respects, not only for those that did not return to the village but for the many family relatives who were involved in the conflict, some of whom, also, did not return home.

The Rev Mandy Carr and Elizabeth Miller were involved in the making of a short film called Distance which was shown as part of the commemorations. It was based on a poem of the same name set during World War One. The first narrator is Anne, a young wife living in a rural community like Weald. The second narrator is her husband, Tom, who is a soldier on The Western Front. An edited version of the poem was used to create a short film with the same title, to commemorate Remembrance 2018 and feature the installation of the ‘There But Not There’ figures in St. George’s Church, Weald.

Rev Mandy Carr outlined the decisions and process in the making of the film which featured her son, Matthew, in the role of Tom, a young man of 18 who goes to the front leaving his young, pregnant wife, Anne (played by Katie Beddoe) behind.

The film can be watched at http://www.rochesteraim.com/a-film-resource-for-remembrance/ and downloaded from Vimeo https://vimeo.com/290548484 or through a link in the St George’s Church website. Rev Carr said: “What Elizabeth Miller and I wanted to convey through this film is that even at times of great human suffering, it is love that matters. It is love that makes life worth living; it’s love that connects us, and it’s love that brings life out of death. This is what gives us hope but we need to see the bigger picture and take the long view.

Following the showing of the film, a two-minute silence was held at 11am and and after the service, many of the congregation came outside to the war memorial where wreaths were laid .

In the afternoon of Sunday 11 November another wreath was laid, this one underneath the flagpole on the ‘Green’ followed by a two minute silence. Many villagers joined the group and came down to the Memorial Hall afterwards to see the exhibition, enjoy an afternoon tea and look at the newly installed fabric wall-hanging.

Rosie Woods, the Leader of the Parish Council thanked the many groups and individuals, who put so much effort into the events on the day of commemoration. She thanked in particular Sheila Hocking for her research into all the men who went to war and highlighted the book that has been produced, ‘Weald and the Great War’ (only a few copies are still available at the village shop). S

VILLAGE FILM CLUBS: St George’s Church in Weald provides the venue for several film clubs when classic movies are shown. The Junior Film Club (ages 7-11) will meet on Thursday 29 November with a screening of a Disney classic, Aladdin (Cert U). The film starts at 5.15pm with pick up at 6.45pm. To reserve a place please email julia.baber@gmail.com. Teen Screens (ages 12-15), will be on Friday 30 November at 6.45pm . The film being shown is the Disney favourite ‘Cars’ (Cert PG). To reserve a place please email dinolan@hotmail.co.uk. Both clubs are FREE to attend but donations for popcorn (Junior) and snacks  (Teen Screens) are welcome.  Film Club and Teen Screens meet on the last Thursday & Friday of each month during term time which means November will be the last viewings of 2018.

The film, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, is being shown as part of the ‘Golden Oldies’ club on Monday 3 December at 1.30 in St Georges Church. The screening will be dementia friendly and includes subtitles and an intermission with choc ices. Golden Oldies will take a break during the winter months but will return in the spring with the showing of the musical ‘Gigi’. Please contact Sarah Griffiths for lifts or any further information on 01732 463458 or email sarah_highview@hotmail.com

HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY AGM: A decision has been made to honour the memory Carol Dooley, who sadly died this year, by creating a permanent award in her name. The Carol Dooley award will be  given in the Spring Show for most points gained in cookery and flower arranging.

The Chair of Weald Horticultural Society thanked all her committee Veronica Edwards, Shirley, Sheila Turley, Lynne Robbins, Tracy Ball and Roger Trapp for all their help and hard work throughout the year, to Sally Jones for arranging the Christmas Workshops, to Doris Wheeler for organising not only the weekend away but the day trip to Beth Chatto’s Garden and, finally, to Nigel Turley for willingly thinking up yet more quizzes. If you are not a member and want to join, the membership is a bargain at just £5 a year.

MONTHLY WALK. It was a smaller group than normal that set off from the Weald Community Shop for the monthly village walk, this one led by John Miller who took the group 3.17 miles with 422 feet of ascent up Church Road then on the footpath from the church across Sinden’s Farm, up Wickhurst to Gracious Lane. They then took the rather overgrown footpath which skirts the north side of the A21 and went down Hubbard’s Hill back to Weald Green. It will be interesting over the next few months to go on the walk when the trees have no leaves to see the views that are normally hidden. As a result of tackling the challenge of the overgrown footpath a working party has been arranged to help clear it.

FATHER’S MEMORIAL. Rosie Wood recalls that when the Wesleyan Church in Weald was being refurbished, the Parish Council had been particularly careful to salvage any items left in the old chapel, including the altar rail. They were particularly happy when it was put to use as a handrail along the path to the new Community Shop. On Thursday 15 November, 97-year-old Joan Page proudly unveiled a new plaque to commemorate her father’s work as circuit steward. He was born in 1889 and died in 1954. Originally, the altar rail had been given in his memory by Joan and her mother when the chapel was refurbished in 1962. Joan was delighted that her father’s work is still commemorated.

 

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