Appeal for families of WWI soldiers to join commemorative event

The organisers of Newport Show have revealed plans to host a special event to commemorate the local soldiers who lost their lives during World War One.

Charles Vernon from Puleston, Newport, who died in WWI and will be commemorated by the Newport & District Agricultural Society

Newport & District Agricultural Society, which hosts the annual show at Chetwynd Deer Park, will unveil a plaque in the grounds on July 1 to remember the 15 soldiers from the parish who lost their lives in the conflict.

A new avenue of 15 lime trees will be planted at the Deer Park as another permanent memorial and the society is appealing for families of the men and other local servicemen to come forward and take part in the ceremony.

The society’s Chairman of Trustees Robert Watson Jones explained: “July 1 marks the start of the First World War’s Battle of the Somme and we are joining organisations from across the country in remembering this important landmark in our nation’s history.

Fifteen soldiers from the Chetwynd parish lost their lives during WWI and a number of them worked on the Chetwynd estate during that time. As the Chetwynd Deer Park was part of the old estate, we have decided to plant 15 lime trees in their honour.”

The Mayor of Newport Councillor Lyn Fowler, Newport Royal British Legion and the Combined Cadet Force from Adams’ Grammar School, will take part in the event that begins at 4.30pm.

There will be a ceremonial planting of the trees and the unveiling of a plaque that is being made from sandstone quarried in the park.

It will be followed by a reception in the society’s Lodge where there will be an exhibition on the First World War, with particular reference to Newport, local agriculture, the Newport Shows that took place in wartime as well as information on the servicemen who died.

The 15 soldiers from the parish who died during the war were: Alaric Charles Henry Borough, Charles Browne, Robert Chambers Macdonald Elliott, William Hollinshead, Earnest John Kennerley, Walter Kennerley, Frederick John Lovatt, William Lovatt, George Herbert Owen, Charles Rylance, Thomas Rylance, William John Sherwood, Charles Vernon, George Vernon and John Isaac Williams.

Mr Watson Jones added: “Although we are keen to have the families of the 15 represented, there is an open invitation to the public and particularly relatives of other local servicemen who died during the First World War. We would also like them to lend us any memorabilia they may have to include in the exhibition.”

Anyone who is related to one of the Chetwynd soldiers or other local servicemen who died in WWI can contact the show office on 01952 810814. Other local organisations that would like to participate in the event can also get in touch.

Photograph: Charles Vernon from Puleston, Newport, who died in WWI and will be commemorated by the Newport & District Agricultural Society