Restored memorial bears an extra name

The wraps have come off the restored World War One War Memorial in All Saints churchyard in Middleton Cheney after a successful appeal.

The project cost £12,000, half of which was raised through donations from villagers and half by grants from charities and local businesses.

Appeal chairman David Thompson said: “Villagers were particularly generous, given there were several other charity appeals during the year.

“Using her calligraphy skills, Chris Wells compiled a book of donors and a short history of the memorial to be kept in the church on a shelf made by Roger Solesbury.

“The restored memorial contains one original stone, as the monument was badly eroded and many of the names were illegible.

A rededication service took place on May 14, when bad weather meant proceedings took place mainly within the church. The service was conducted by the Rector Rev Charles Jefferson and Chris Bazeley.

Some 50 primary school children sang a medley of First World War songs.

There was a poignant moment when George Timms, nephew of William Timms, laid a wreath. William Timms died after the war as a result of his involvement and his name was added in restoration.

The 22 names on the memorial, now 23, were listed in chronological order of their death, with 14 of these men still having descendants living in the village.

President of the History Society, Nancy Long, has recorded a history of every soldier and copies can be found in the church and the village library.

Society members also researched the details of 84 men who survived the war and returned to Middleton Cheney.

Mr Thompson added: “It is thought that a total of 189 enlisted but many were difficult to trace as more than half of their service records were destroyed in September 1940 when a German bombing raid struck the War Office Repository in London.”