The village hall at Skelton-on-Ure was the focus of the village last weekend for the re-dedication of its war memorial.
The ceremony to re-dedicate the restored First World War Memorial was held after the children’s service at the tiny church of St Helens giving the congregation time to walk down and join others already assembled on the road outside the hall.
The newly restored memorial which is made up of two black slate tablets on either side of the hall’s porch were unveiled by Deputy Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Richard Compton of Newby Hall after a welcoming speech made by John Holt. Mr Holt made reference to his father’s experience in the Battle of the Somme and mentioned that 14 men named on the memorial did not return. He said they died for the cause of freedom and should never be forgotten.
The tablets which had been badly worn are now resplendent in their gilded lettering after being restored by Stephenson’s Memorial Works based on Wetherby Road, Harrogate.
A service followed taken by The Rev Alison Askew. It was attended by both the Mayor and Mayoress of Ripon, Coun Mick Stanley and Gill Stanley, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Boroughbridge, Coun Geoff Craggs and Betty Craggs, as well as representatives from the Regiments of men mentioned on the memorial, members of Boroughbridge Royal British Legion and a representative of The War Memorials Trust.
Standards from the Royal British Legion and The Green Howards were present.
A poem, The Soldier by Rupert Brooke was read by Ruby Patrick and a special piece written for the occasion by Skelton-on-Ure resident, Geoff Newton was recited.
The names of the fallen were read out by Peter Greenwood.
Wreaths were then laid, and the Last Post and Reveille were sounded by Peter Andrews of the Ripon City Band.After the service light refreshment was served in the village hall which gave those present plenty of time to renew old friendships.
Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918 by Geoff Newton
Our village War Memorial,
Which by wind and rain
And general lack of care
Had long since fallen into disrepair,
Is refurbished, and as good as new today,
And we can see the words inscribed
That over time had gradually worn away.
So now the many local family names
Of those brave men who served,
And some who died,
Are clearly once again identified:
The Metcalfes and the Patricks,
The Chesters, Needhams, Leakes,
And others far too numerous to call,
Are remembered for their service, one and all.
Ordinary young village men,
They volunteered without a thought,
Save for the needs of their country
For whom they valiantly fought.