WW1 Planting at Frank’s Wood
On Sunday 18 November Colerne Parish remembered their First World War fallen by the planting of 23 trees in the Woodland Trust’s Frank’s Wood.
Wiltshire Council, through the Woodland Trust’s First World War project, invited communities to mark the centenary by planting trees across the county, each tree to represent the soldiers that lost their lives.
The Royal British Legion Colerne Branch, applied for 23 trees to represent the soldiers from Colerne village, and asked the Cotswold AONB Voluntary Wardens to prepare the planting area. Russell Harding led the Cotswold Wardens in preparing the planting area, pre-digging the holes, organising volunteers to assist with the planting event, pre-installing the planting stakes, commemorative plaques and poppies and briefed the participants on the day.
The local school was involved with a contact at the school making plaques for each soldier that were read out during an assembly as part of the preparations for the planting day.
On the day, trees were planted by local school children, scouts, guides and cadets. Representatives from the Royal British Legion Colerne Branch attended, as did two army buglers. Councillors Cllr Jacqui Bradburn, Cllr Brian Matthew and Lord King also took part.
A short remembrance service was held during which prayers and poems were said, a two minute silence held and the Royal British Legion detailed the tragic history of Sgt Fletcher who died on 18 November 1918.
So 18 November was a particularly poignant date on which to remember all those lost from the village.
Words and photos : Sarah Stebbing