Moving ceremony marks Great War - Wootton villagers who gave their lives are commemorated

Tree planting ceremony at Wootton commemorating World War One.
Tree planting ceremony at Wootton commemorating World War One.

A ceremony of thanksgiving and dedication has been held in Wootton to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War.

The Royal British Legion and Wootton Parish Council marked the occasion in sunshine on Friday, October 31, by planting a hawthorn tree and placing a bench in Lorraine Road cemetery, with a plaque in memory of villagers who had lost their lives fighting for their country.

In his welcome speech, Councillor Gareth Lloyd, chairman of Wootton Parish Council, said that the most precious thing to all of us was life, and we should be eternally grateful to those who had given their lives during the Great War to secure our freedom.

Rev Peter Ackroyd, vicar of St Mary’s Church, Wootton, performed the act of thanksgiving and dedication and there followed the official planting of the tree.

Alec Head, chairman of the Wootton branch of the British Legion, led the Act of Remembrance and a bugler sounded the Last Post.

Following a prayer of dedication and a blessing, members of the British Legion and Wootton Parish Council made sure that the tree – chosen by Pamela Stephenson, tree warden in the village for 35 years - was firmly planted.

A spokeswoman said: “It was a moving and poignant occasion and one blessed with beautiful weather. The hope is that the villagers of Wootton will be able to reflect on the brave men who gave their lives for our freedom whenever they visit the cemetery and sit on the bench or admire the tree.”