As a consequence of the latest lockdown restrictions imposed in England, it was not be possible to hold a Remembrance service in church.
As there is no outside memorial in Charlton, Roger Davies, Chair of Charlton Parish Council, and Mark Jackson OBE, High Sheriff of Worcestershire, placed wreaths on the gate of the Lychgate at the Cemetery. After the 11th November a wreath will be moved to Frank Fryer’s grave. In the meantime a separate wreath is also being placed on Frank’s grave.
The Coronavirus emergency unfortunately meant that the grand event originally planned for the Village had to be cancelled, but lots of small get togethers took place in various parts of the village, ensuring social distancing was complied with, of course. Many villagers made great efforts to put up patriotic decorations on their houses. Winston Churchill's speech and the Queen's message were broadcast across the Green and "Last Night of the Proms" singing took place at dusk. The following pictures are courtesy of Julian Hawley and Lorraine Jones.
Display of Forces memorabilia by Roy and Mary Stevens in Brook Lane
On Saturday 25th January, as part of the National Village Halls Week, an open day was held in Charlton Old Schoolroom to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the opening of the Schoolroom in 1880. There was an illustrated exhibition of the history of the village from prehistoric times to the present day, including a display of historical artefacts recovered from sites around the Village. This event also provided an opportunity for villagers to see the improvements made to the Old Schoolroom building over the last two years and to see the plans for the future. Many Villagers attended and also some from outside of Charlton with links to the village.
Photos below courtesy of Lorraine Jones.
An updated version of the exhibition will be staged later in the year.
The recent Curry and Quiz night was a great success with over 100 people taking part. The quiz was won by "Hawley's Halfwits" comprising Elaine and Julian Hawley, Wendy and Paul Sharp, Carol Swanson and Alison and Mark Sandham.
Congratulations to them and also everyone who helped with the organisation of a very enjoyable evening!
The Medieval Night event was held in the Old Schoolroom on Saturday 12th October. It ended up being slightly oversubscribed with 44 people taking part. It was a great night enjoyed by all, with plenteous food and Charlton mead all excellently prepared by ladies of the village. Splendid musical entertainment on medieval instruments was providedby the band. £514 net was raised for the Old Schoolroom renovation fund.
Thanks to Julian Hawley for the photos below. Sorry they're a bit dark, but l.e.d. lights weren't around in Medieval times!
The Chattery held on 20th September was a special celebration for the Diamond Wedding of Osta and Godfrey Brace. Friends of Helen Fowler for 63 years through the Young Farmers' Association, they now live in Pershore and still support many of the Charlton events. They received a card from the Queen and there was an article in the Evesham Journal on Thursday.
Thanks to Elaine Mabbot for the photos below:
An exhibition of photographs detailing events in Charlton's history from Roman Times to the present day was staged in the Old Schoolroom during the Country Fayre. It is hoped that we will be able to update the content of the exhibition for display at future village events. Anyone who has pictures of people or events in Charlton's history that they would be prepared to loan for scanning / copying is asked to contact either Julian Hawley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Richard Sims (email@example.com)
On the afternoon of Saturday 10th November, around 150 people attended a ceremony to commemorate the end of the First World War and to remember those from the village who sacrificed their lives for our freedom today. The church, splendidly decorated with poppies provided by the British Legion, was literally overflowing.
Nine silhouettes of soldiers, which had been awarded to Charlton by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust, participated in the event, representing each individual young lad of the village who did not return from the war, “there but not there”.
The commemoration was preceded by a talk on the stories of each of these young men who fell, their homes and families, lives before the war, the battles they fought in and how they died. This helped bring them to life and enabled everyone present to know them as individual people, not just names on a list.
Family members of several of the fallen were in attendance. Edward Witchard of the Royal Navy, who died in the Battle of Jutland in 1916, was represented by eleven of his family, many of whom had travelled considerable distances to be there. Some of them had never actually met before but the desire to pay respects to their relative had brought them together once again, as a family, in the village in which he grew up. The families of Albert Beale who died at Gallipoli and brothers Reginald and Arthur Hawker who both died were also well represented.
The commemoration ceremony commenced with a procession, to the music of Elgar’s Nimrod, led by the standards of the British Legion and the local Scouts and Cubs, and including members of the uniformed services and military veterans. After a moving reading of Macrae’s "In Flanders Fields" by a representative of Help For Heroes, musicians and singers from Charlton sang two pieces, Willie McBride, a lament for a fallen soldier and "The lads in Their Hundreds", composed by George Butterworth who himself was killed on the Somme.
After an appropriate introduction, the name, regiment and age of each of the fallen was read out by a Charlton villager, seated by the appropriate silhouette. All were in their twenties or younger. Wreaths were then laid on the war memorial by a representative of the army and the local community police force. The principal wreath was then laid by the niece of Albert Beale.
After a dedication read by a veteran, the Last Post was played by a bugler on the balcony at the back of the church, followed by a minute’s silence and then Reveille. The standards were appropriately dipped and raised. The ceremony concluded with a blessing by the parish priest and the National Anthem was sung, prior to the standards processing out of the church.
All then moved to the recently refurbished Old Schoolroom where the Charlton ladies had provided a splendid array of refreshments including “Trench Cake” and a display of war memorabilia had been set up.
This was a very moving event, some tears were shed and many emotions were felt. Charlton feels proud that it has done justice to the memory of the lads of the village who never came home 100 years ago and that what they gave up, so today we can live in freedom, has been properly recognised. We hope the lads may have been looking down on us and were pleased.
This year's show was held on Saturday 1st September in the newly refurbished Old Schoolroom and was well attended by villagers and visitors alike.
Below are some photos of the exhibits and visitors: