Remembrance garden opens in Steeple Claydon

The opening of the Steeple Claydon remembrance garden
The opening of the Steeple Claydon remembrance garden

More than three years ago a group of Steeple Claydon residents decided to honour the fallen from World War One and Two by building a remembrance garden for the village.

They wanted to honour the brave for their immense sacrifice during the two World Wars.

After much wrangling and canvassing, they got the approval of the villagers and the means to proceed with their plans.

Norman White, from Steeple Claydon Remembrance Group said: “Over three years ago a few Steeple Claydon villagers decided it was necessary to obtain land and build a remembrance garden for the village to honour our brave war heroes who lost their lives in the two world wars so that ensuing generations could live in a land without suppression and able to secure their own destiny.

“Although there are plaques in St. Michael’s Church they are not well displayed and only visible to churchgoers.

“We have the only village in the surrounding area without a visible war memorial for all to see.

“A door-to-door canvas showed overwhelming support from the village and with this backing the Steeple Claydon Remembrance Group (SCRG) was formed, a legal charity managed by a committee of trustees formed solely for this purpose.

This was all done however, without the backing of the parish council, as Norman explains: “With no backing from the council a strip of land at the entrance to Meadoway was purchased from the Crown Estate and a garden created with fencing, a serpentine footpath, benches and,of course, a memorial.

“They even recruited the help of their local MP, John Bercow to help them in purchasing the land off the crown.

“On Friday September 21 2018 a service was held to officially open the garden and dedicate the memorial.

“Four members of the Quainton Royal British Legion including two Standard Bearers led a procession through the garden to the memorial.”

Norman White, chairman of the SCRG explained the background and forming of the garden and the Right Honourable John Bercow MP (who assisted greatly in obtaining the land from the crown) officially opened the garden with an interesting speech.

The Reverend Angela Mann conducted the service and dedication with the bugler Roy Taylor playing the Last Post and the Reveille after a one minute silence.

Four members of the Buckinghamshire Royal British Legion Motorcycle Group also attended and laid a wreath.

The weather remained bright and dry and a large group of onlookers attended enjoying free refreshments provided for the occasion.

Speaking about the event MP John Bercow said: “I was delighted to offer my support to the Steeple Claydon Remembrance Group in their endeavour to create a remembrance garden and war memorial.

“The Remembrance Group have worked tirelessly in their efforts to create a wonderful space to remember those lost during the wars - what has been achieved is truly admirable.

“I was honoured officially to open the remembrance garden and I hope the wider community will find the opportunity to visit the commemorative space to see first-hand the fantastic work that has been undertaken.”