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Uttoxeter memorial rededication for centenary services

By Uttoxeter Advertiser  |  Posted: July 30, 2014

By Richard Castle

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UTTOXETER is set to mark the centenary of the First World War by rededicating the town's war memorial for the first time since 1922.

On Sunday a march will take place to mark the event, which will see the Market Place memorial and the old memorial in the chapel of St Mary's Church rededicated.

The march, organised by Uttoxeter's Royal British Legion and town council, will set off from the Maltings at 10.30am.

It will then go up Bradley Street, into High Street and down to the war memorial in Market Place.

A short service, during which Rev Ted Whittaker will rededicate the memorial and mayor Karen Haberfield and legion chairman Phil Hudson will lay a wreath, will then take place.

The Reveille and the Last Post will be performed by Uttoxeter Town Band, which will accompany attendees right the way through the march.

The crowd will then travel across the road to St Mary's Church, where another service will be held to rededicate the old memorial.

There will be readings of letters sent to and from soldiers during the First World War.

The march will then head back up High Street, accompanied by the town band playing popular wartime songs, where it will stop briefly at the town hall for a military salute.

Uttoxeter Royal British Legion Chairman Phil Hudson said: "The Royal British Legion, in partnership with the town council, are honoured to rededicate the memorial for the first time since 1922.

"It's very important that we remember those who have given their lives for our freedom.

"As well as marking their sacrifice, we'll be praying for present and future armed forces personnel.

"While it will be a serious event, we'll be keen to do something a bit different and slightly more light-hearted with First World War readings and the band playing some wartime classics during the march.

"We're very conscious not to make it the same as a normal Remembrance service."

Panels are due to be fitted to the memorial today, including the name of Barry Buxton, a soldier from the Uttoxeter area who lost his life in Afghanistan.

The work is being funded by the legion and an anonymous benefactor.

Among the military associations providing representatives for the event are the Naval Association, the Sea Scouts, Army Cadets and the Staffordshire Regimental Association.

The following Sunday, August 10, will see a poppy lunch held at Kingstone Village Hall.

The event, spearheaded by Poppy Appeal co-ordinator Judith Leedham, starts at 12.30pm.

Expert Paul Barrass will give a talk about the First World War.

Tickets cost £15 and are available by calling Mrs Leedham on 01889 500272.

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