A fitting tribute to Hornton’s fallen

The Hornton team; Front row from left: Kevin Wain and Stuart Neville of
Hornton Grounds Quarry. Back row form left: Site co-owners Mark Andrews and Stuart Viggers, groundworks manager Ben Davey, and Will Allan of Hornton Grounds Farm who transported the stone. NNL-171105-172253001

The Hornton team; Front row from left: Kevin Wain and Stuart Neville of Hornton Grounds Quarry. Back row form left: Site co-owners Mark Andrews and Stuart Viggers, groundworks manager Ben Davey, and Will Allan of Hornton Grounds Farm who transported the stone. NNL-171105-172253001

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Hornton soldiers who served and died in World War One will be commemorated 100 years after the war ended, with a new memorial created from a stone unearthed in the village where they lived.

The owners of a building site in the village have donated a huge piece of Hornton ironstone, with its characteristic brown-orange colour, that was dug out of the village’s valley side, along with 500 tonnes of earth, to make way for two new houses.

The slab of stone will be remodelled by masons at Building Stone at Hornton Grounds Quarry, near Wroxton, who are donating their time and skills for free.

The plan is that the memorial will sit on the village green to commemorate the ten local men who died at the WWI Front, and the many other men and women who served and suffered.

Hornton History Group chair, Kevin Wain, said: “We ran a well-attended village exhibition and event to mark the centenary of the start of the war.

“This is a way to recall the end of the war and to commemorate those who died and the affected families.

He added: “It’s appropriate that, a century later, we’ll be able to recall them in this way, especially as many of them, and their families, actually worked locally as quarry labourers.”

Hornton Parish Council will this summer be invited to sign off final plans for the siting of the stone.

There will be a dedication ceremony to unveil the new memorial in November 2018.

Building site co-owner, Stuart Viggers, of North Oxfordshire’s Charles Joseph Homes, said: “It’s perfect that this small piece of the village should be preserved and re-used in this way.

“One of the soldiers who died was William Cawley and his family used to live in one of the former cottages on this site, so the historical connection couldn’t be better. We’;re really pleased to have played our part.”

Mr Cawley will be one of ten men recognised on a plaque of blue Hornton stone which will be indented into the larger stone above.

Mr Cawley died on August 13 1916 in the battle of the Somme possibly while trying to transport supplies to the front line with a horse and cart. He was 36 years old

He was a private with the The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and a bachelor who lived on Millers Lane with his widowed father.

Descendants of Mr Cawley are thought to be members of the Hemmings and Horsley families which still live in the village today.

The other nine men who gave their lives during the war effort are William Bacchus, Horace Denton, Emanuel Freeman, Clarence Gilkes, William Prickett, Thomas Richards, John Robbins, James Turner and John Wells.