Friday, June 14th, 2024

Weald pays tribute to David Marchant, a great village servant

GREAT VILLAGE SERVANT. David Marchant, a long-time resident of Weald and a great servant to the village, died on Thursday 26 July, aged 86, after a long illness. A funeral service took place on 22 August at St George’s Church, Weald.

David, who served on the parish council, was a keen sportsman and played football and badminton locally. After he married his wife Mary in 1959 they played badminton together.

The refurbished Weald Cricket Club pavilion was named after David Marchant to reflect his great service to the club.

But it was the game of cricket that topped the list of David’s favourite past times. He started playing at 16 and after doing his national service in his early 20s was made captain of the Weald team.

His involvement with the club continued throughout his life and after David retired from playing he continued to umpire and was invited to become the Cricket Club President.

In 2016, when the Parish Council refurbished the pavilion at the recreation ground they took a decision to rename it ‘The David Machant Pavilion’ in recognition of his long association with cricket in the village.

David also became a school governor and often volunteered to dress up as Santa at the Christmas fairs. He was also active in the men’s section of the British Legion. David organised several fund-raising dinners and helped with the annual Poppy appeal.

He will be greatly issed in the village.

SILHOUETTES IN CHURCH. ‘He died for freedom and honour’ are the words that appear on what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Death Penny’, a bronze memorial plaque issued after the first world war to the next of kin of all British and Empire service personnel who were killed during the conflict.

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the war. The guns fell silent at 11am on the 11 November 1918 when armistice was declared.

The Poppy Day memorial is well known, but in 2016 a different kind of monument was created in Penshurst with the installation of 51 transparent silhouettes of seated military figures in the local Church.

This year, these silent, ghostly, silhouettes are being replicated nationally with the aim of placing a figure to represent the names that appear on local war memorials.

World War One troop movements in Church Road, Weald.

St George’s Church Weald is taking part to commemorate the local men who died, and 17 silhouettes will be among the congregation at the church.

Rev Mandy Carr and other members of the congregation are also making a short film using words and ideas from two poems written by Elizabeth Miller. One is written from the point of view of a soldier at the front and the other from loved ones left behind.

A group of women in Weald are marking the event in their own way by creating a wall-hanging to be installed in Weald Memorial Hall.

The hanging, which will represent a strip of medals, will feature the men’s names along with regimental buttons from their unit.

The stitched piece will be unveiled in the Memorial Hall on the afternoon of 11 November and everyone is invited to come to see the hanging and to listen to learn a little more about how the villagers coped during the war.

If you have any First World War memorabilia (letters, telegrams, pictures etc.) and would be willing to share them during the afternoon at a ‘pop-up’ exhibition, please look them out.

At the end of the day a beacon/bonfire, constructed by under the auspices of the Parish Council will be lit on the outskirts of the village.

DIARY DATES: Thursday 30 August, Mobile Library in the Memorial Hall Car Park from 11.40am until 12.25pm; Saturday 1 September, Weald Cricket Club v Flimwell CC 1st XI at Weald Recreation Ground at 1.30pm; Sunday 2September Weald St George’s 10k and Fun Run; Tuesday 4 September, ‘Sew and Company’, Memorial Hall 12.45 – 2.45pm; Wednesday 5 September, Women of Weald meeting in the Memorial Hall, 2.15pm – 4.30pm; Saturday 8 September, Horticultural Society Autumn Show in the Memorial Hall from 3pm; Tuesday 18 September, ‘Sew and Company’, Memorial Hall 12.45pm – 2.45pm; Tuesday 18 September, Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells Beekeepers Lecture – ‘Planning for Bees’ by Dr K Alton (Sussex University) in Weald Memorial Hall from 7.30pm to 9.30pm; Friday 28 September, ‘Mama Mia’ – Teen Screen at St George’s Church, 6.45pm.

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