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Chatteris remembers every man

Chatteris RBL Ceremony at the War Memorial ANL-151202-184003009
Chatteris RBL Ceremony at the War Memorial ANL-151202-184003009

A special remembrance tribute for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War is being put together by youngsters in Chatteris.

Members of the youth section of Chatteris Royal British Legion are honouring each of the 157 men from the town with an individual memorial.

The youngsters have been inspired to take the Legion’s Every Man Remembered campaign one step further.

Committee member Sam Tolley said: “Chatteris branch is very fortunate to have a proactive and motivated youth membership, run by Leah Templeman.

“Amongst other community-oriented schemes, these teenagers came up with the idea that we should hold a unique memorial service to the 157 First World War servicemen who are listed on our war memorial.

“In addition there are four further men who died in the conflict but are not on the memorial. This is something we are hoping to get to the bottom of.

“The concept of the service is simple; 100 years to the day since the passing of one of our servicemen we hold a remembrance service at either the war memorial, or at their graveside if they are buried in Chatteris.

“The majority of these services have been led by the youth members and they include a summary of the Fallen’s life, followed by a poem or two and the lighting of a candle.

“Where we can we have our standard bearers and a bugle player, too.

“We also try to locate any relatives and seek their attendance, but this hasn’t always been possible.”

During a recent memorial service, the young section honoured Henry Hopkins.

Pte Hopkins used to live in West Street and enlisted in Chatteris.

Mr Tolley said: “Henry is slightly different to most of our wall as he died of meningitis before departing England.

“Regardless, his enlistment and service still warrants him our recognition.”

This is the seventh memorial service to have taken place in the town.

The youth section has been supported in this by the Chatteris Remembers Project.

This Heritage Lottery Funded programme helps children at Kingsfield School and adult volunteers to research the Chatteris men who took part in the First World War.

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