Dunsmore Councillor Howard Roberts has unveiled World War One Centenary benches in honour of those residents from Ryton-on-Dunsmore who died during the Great War.
In front of many of the villagers he said, “It is a great honour to speak as we unveil this bench in honour of the 18 men from Ryton who lost their lives fighting for our country in the Great War.”
“As a schoolboy, like many before and since, I studied a poem by Rupert Brooke called ‘The Soldier’. Brooke a former Rugby school pupil begins his piece with the iconic lines; If I should die, think only of this of me, that there’s some corner of a foreign field that is forever England.”
“The poem has been criticised for romancing the horrors of war, but I want to dwell on some sentiments of Brooke. The overriding thrusts of his words are pride in England and where he comes from.” He talks fondly of England, but most movingly of dreams, friends, laughter and gentleness.”
“The men from Ryton who went off to ward would have been scared, unsure of what to expect, but they will have seen in the Ryton community something wroth fighting for. They left family, jobs and friends to preserve the society in which they grew up.”
“Those of us left cannot emulate their courage or bravery, but we can show that their memories are still integral to the community Ryton is today. We do this by honouring their legacy. The presence of us here today shows that our community doesn’t forget sacrifice made in our name, even after a century.”
As Brooke said, “Where these men perished a part of a foreign land has its dust made richer. Here today this bench symbolises that there will always be thankful memories of their bravery in this village they called home, we are richer in spirit for their sacrifice.”
The bench unveiling closes three days of family activities in Ryton-on-Dunsmore celebrating #heritageweekend
Residents then went on to St. Leonard’s for a special service.