Axminster remembers war dead in rededication of the town's war memorial

  Posted: 20.07.21 at 12:36 by Philip Evans

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The 86 men of Axminster who gave their lives in two world wars were remembered when the Axminster branch of the Royal British Legion staged a procession through the town, followed by a rededication of the war memorial on the Minster Green on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.

The procession of Royal British Legion members and civic dignitaries were led through the town centre by the Exmouth Town Pipe Band.

Among those taking part in the procession were the Mayor of Axminster, Cllr Jill Farrow; MP Neil Parish; Ken Jefferies, the Royal British Legion's Devon county chairman; and Vice-Admiral Tim Lowe CBE RN (Ret).

The Hon Sarah Lopes, the Legion's Devon County President and granddaughter of Earl Haig, who founded the British Legion, was unable to be present due to COVID isolation.

The salute was taken by the Deputy Lieutenant of Devon, Mr Robin Barlow, representing the Lord Lieutenant, who later addressed the gather on the Minster Green.

The service of rededication of the war memorial was conducted by the Axminster branch chaplain, the Revered Geoffrey Welsh.

Royal British Legion members in the parade followed by MP Neil Parish and local councillor Andrew Moulding

After a welcome by Mervyn Symes, chairman of the Axminster branch, who organised the proceedings, the Reverend Walsh told the audience: "This morning we stand together with those who stood here 100 years ago in 1921 and have come together to celebrate the centenary of our Royal British Legion branch, to rededicate our War Memorial, remembering all those from this community and elsewhere who were caught up in the conflicts of war.

"We remember not only those killed in action but also the bereaved, the families whose lives were and are changed forever and those who are unable to. speak of their memories of war."

A Bible reading was delivered by Mrs Leslie Frankau, chairman of the Axminster branch Women's Section.

The rededication of the war memorial was carried out by the Rector of Axminster, the Reverend Clive Sedgwick, assisted by the the Reverend Tracey Voisey who conducted prayers.

The Exhortation was delivered by Mr Ken Brake, chairman of the Axminster branch.

The Rector of Axminster, the Reverend Clive Sedgewick, rededicates the war memorial, assisted by the assistant curate, the Reverend Tracey Voysey

The names of the 68 men in the First World War and the 16 in the Second World War were read by Mr Symes. The Last Post and Reveille was sounded by Andrew Star and the Kohima Epitaph was read by John Glanville-Smith.

Wreaths were laid on the memorial by the Deputy Lieutenant, Mr Symes and Mrs Frankau.

After the service refreshments were served on the Minster Green and many took the opportunity of visiting the flower festival inside the church to commemorate the 100th anniversary.

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