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Stafford families invited to join in First World War commemoration

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: July 25, 2014

Stafford families invited to join in First World War commemoration

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STAFFORD remembers the centenary of the First World War next weekend with a series of special events.

And the descendants of those who died in the conflict are being invited to come along to the commemorations on the morning of Saturday, August 2.

The morning begins with a ceremony to mark the restoration of the borough war memorial, in Victoria Square - a Grade II listed monument.

The rededication ceremony, at 10am, will be performed by the Bishop of Stafford, the Rt Rev Geoff Annas and Rev John Davis, Rural Dean of Stafford and county chaplain to The Royal British Legion.

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Wreaths will be laid by the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Ian Dudson, and the Mayor of Stafford, Councillor Ray Sutherland.

It will be followed by the laying of 31 poppy crosses at the remains of St Bertelin's Chapel, to remember the 31 men from the Stafford area killed in 1914.

There will then be a special service of remembrance and reconciliation at St Mary's Church at 10.30am.

The Stafford branch of the British Legion is trying to trace the descendants of the servicemen killed in 1914, and is inviting anyone with family connections to those killed in the Great War to come along to the wreath-laying and the service.

"A lot of the surnames listed on the war memorial can still be found in the Stafford phone book, and it would be wonderful to see their families remembering them on the centenary of the war," spokesman Squadron Leader Denis Skelland said.

The restoration of the war memorial was the brainchild of Stafford Borough Council leader, Mike Heenan, who said: "We wanted to mark such an important milestone by enhancing this poignant tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting to protect the freedoms we enjoy today. Our war memorial in Victoria Square is always a focal point for loved ones to be remembered and for wreaths to be laid in memory and respect of those who gave their lives."

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