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April 2014

A PERMANENT WAR MEMORIAL FOR CLANFIELD

    For the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of WW1, the village of Clanfield will have a permanent focal point for remembrance…a new Memorial Garden

In June 2014, the world marks one-hundred years since the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo – an event that was to spark the outbreak of WW1. Once Germany declared war on France in early August 1914, England had little choice but to enter the fray. What followed was called at the time ‘the war to end all wars’, but this was not to be. As we sadly know today, WW2 was soon to follow. And, on all too many occasions since, men and women have lost their lives fighting for the freedom of those of us left behind.

Clanfield has for many years commemorated its war dead on Remembrance Sunday by placing wreaths in the small garden at the front of the Memorial Hall in South Lane. The Hall itself has a long and personal association with the Great War having started out life almost one-hundred years ago as an original WW1 Nissen Hut. The current building came into use almost forty years ago and as every villager knows, it is used extensively for the happy events of the community such as weddings, parties, cultural and health groups and sports.

It is here that the new war memorial for Clanfield is to be built, right at the heart of the old village. The Clanfield Parish Institute, partnered with Horndean Technology College, will begin the construction of a new Memorial Garden in April 2014. The front garden of the current Hall will be renovated to incorporate a new pathway and a permanent plinth, as well as a border of picket fence and new seating and tables. When complete, the new Memorial Garden will be open to all villagers, and will be a more pleasant location for wreaths and personal tributes, as well as a focal point for quiet reflection all-year-round.

Building work is being undertaken by students from Horndean Technology College, who are kindly giving up their Easter holiday to begin the construction. Keen to develop the importance of the message, the College has incorporated aspects of the project across its curriculum to include its IT, history and marketing departments. In addition, when the foundations for the pathway are begun, the students will be excavating by hand in order to replicate the tunnelling of trenches in WW1. Building materials used will be pertinent to the community, so brick and flint will be in strong evidence.

The cost of this phase is being part funded by grants and donations from villagers, Hampshire County Council and East Hants and Clanfield Parish Councils.

Once construction is complete, the garden will be landscaped and poppy seeds, kindly donated by the National Trust property, Overbecks*, will be scattered. The plinth itself will be sealed at the last moment, providing the opportunity for a time capsule to be enclosed within the structure for future villagers to discover. Local institutions such as the WI and the village’s two schools, Petersgate and Clanfield Junior, as well as HTC, have been invited to submit items. Others would be welcome.

It is anticipated that a ceremony of unveiling will take place to coincide either with the anniversary of the Sarajevo assassination in late June, or with the outbreak of war in early August.

For further information on the project, please contact:

Brian Ahern at engineering@clanfieldmemorialhall.org.uk

April 2014

*Overbecks is a National Trust property situated near Salcombe in Devon. Surrounded by stunning scenery and with its own magnificent gardens, Overbecks was used during WW1 as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers. Throughout the summer of 2014, Overbecks will be hosting exhibitions, readings and tours themed on the war and the unique history of the house. For more information, please visit their website at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/overbecks

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