Tadmarton remembers its fallen to mark WWI centenary

Staff Sergeant Shayne Yeoman, Staff Sergeant Gary Musson and Captain Kev Taylor, NNL-180831-100943001
Staff Sergeant Shayne Yeoman, Staff Sergeant Gary Musson and Captain Kev Taylor, NNL-180831-100943001

Villagers in Tadmarton were joined by dignitaries and veterans to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

It was also a special day as the ceremony on August 22 was exactly 100 years to the day since the last man from the village died on the Western Front.

Wreaths were laid at Tadmarton's war memorial to mark the centenary of the end of WWI NNL-180831-100953001

Wreaths were laid at Tadmarton's war memorial to mark the centenary of the end of WWI NNL-180831-100953001

Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Sir Tony Baldry laid a wreath at the memorial along with representatives from 142 Squadron Royal Logistics Corps, the Royal British Legion’s Chipping Norton branch, the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars and Tadmarton Parish Council.

Parish council and Legion branch chairman, Steve Kingsford said: “I was delighted at the turn out and especially at a time of year when many are away on holiday.

“I think we have honoured both those who died and those who suffered in the war in a most fitting way.”

Trooper Richard Howkins of 1st/1st Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars took part in a cavalry charge on the village of Royes during the Battle of Amiens, the first phase of the 100 Days Offensive on August 8, 1918.

Trooper Richard Howkins was the last First World War soldier from Tadmarton to die on the Western Front NNL-180830-154204001

Trooper Richard Howkins was the last First World War soldier from Tadmarton to die on the Western Front NNL-180830-154204001

The assault was halted by heavy machine gun fire and Trooper Howkins was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans. He died in captivity on August 22, 1918 – aged 20.

At the ceremony, an introduction was made by Mr Kingsford before prayers were said by Rev Ronald Hawkes.

Mr Kingsford told stories of all six Tadmarton men who during the war and crosses with their photos were laid on the memorial after each man’s name had been read out.

Poem, For the Fallen, by Laurence Binyon was then read out followed by a minute’s silence.

After the wreath-laying, the ceremony moved to the graveyard behind the church where nine men from the village, who fought and survived now lay at rest.

Sadly three are unmarked but crosses were laid on the graves and more stories were told of the six who lie in the churchyard.