Individuals will be remembered

Wooden poppies are to be planted around Kimberley War Memorial for each soldier who died in the First World War, pictured from left are Coun Steve Brunt, Coun Claire French, Coun Trevor Rood and Borough Councillor Shame Easom
Wooden poppies are to be planted around Kimberley War Memorial for each soldier who died in the First World War, pictured from left are Coun Steve Brunt, Coun Claire French, Coun Trevor Rood and Borough Councillor Shame Easom

Members of the Kimberley Residents Association will pay tribute to each soldier who died during the war individually in the lead up to the centenary next year.

Association member Steve Brunt came up with the idea to plant a wooden poppy for each Kimberley soldier on the date that corresponds with the date that they died. Poppies will be planted in the cenotaph gardens and in the gardens around Main Street.

The first planting has already taken place on November 14, for Charles Crowther Hart who died on the same date, November 14, but in 1917.

He was the son of the rector of Kimberley, the Reverend Frederick Hart, and was kiilled aged just 27.

Mr Brunt, who runs a business in the town, hand cut all of the poppies from plywood in order to represent each and every one of the soldiers named on the war memorial plaques.

He said: “From November 11 this year through to November 11 next year, we will be placing a poppy in the gardens in Kimberley dedicated to the soldier who died on that particular date with his name, age and year of death attached.

“It is something we felt we wanted to do. It’s important that we remember each soldier personally.

“Next year’s centenary marks 100 years since the war ended and we wanted to make it a bit different to all the other years where we parade to the Cenotaph and then come away. I wanted people in Kimberley to remember each and every soldier who died.

“And it will help make for an extra special centenary year in Kimberley next year when Remembrance Day comes around,” he added.

The last poppy will be dedicated to T W Naylor, age and date of death unknown, on November 11, 2018.

Mr Brunt approached fellow association members and town councillors, Claire French and Trevor Rood with his idea.

“Claire carried out the research on all the soldiers to identify their name, age and the date and year they died, and Trevor, who also lives and runs a business in the town, supplied the paint and painted them all,” he said.

Ms French said she agreed it was a great idea:

“There will be a total of 60 ‘poppies’ appearing over the next year. It’s extremely important. When you discover how young they were, it really brings it home to you.”

Work to stabilise and restore the War Memorial is due to start in January 2018 in readiness for Armistice Day in November.

The foundations wil be re-done due to the memorial slightly tilting, it will be re-painted and a new dome will be put on.

The lighting will also be improved and the plaque will be taken off and the names re-done.

The War Memorial in Kimberley is the only domed cenotaph in the county and is now a Grade 2 Listed Structure.

Being 28 feet high, it was unveiled on Saturday September 10, 1921 by Sir Henry Dennis Readett-Bayley and the dedication was conducted by the Reverend Frederick Hart.

Works to the memorial are due to take about three months to complete.