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New stone plaque in memory of 18 north Kent villagers who gave their lives in the Great War has been unveiled

PUBLISHED: 17:02 24 August 2015 | UPDATED: 17:12 24 August 2015

THEN: The plaque at Memorial Cottage, Southfleet

THEN: The plaque at Memorial Cottage, Southfleet

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Southfleet’s war memorial replaced at weekend at special ceremony in Red Street

NOW: The new plaque was unveiled on SaturdayNOW: The new plaque was unveiled on Saturday

A new stone plaque in memory of 18 north Kent villagers who gave their lives in the Great War has been unveiled.

On Saturday, May 13, 1922, Major-General HF Thuillier RE, commander of Her Majesty’s Forces, Chatham, officially opened The War Memorial Cottage in Southfleet, and now - 93 years later - a new plaque has been revealed at the Red Street cottage after the original became worn and was taken down some years ago.

Now a private home, the cottage was built by public subscription for the parish nurse to live and work in. In 1952, it came was bought by Kent County Council for the local health authority, and was passed on to the Department of Social Services in 1974. In 1988, the Department of Health took it over but sold it in 1991, and by 1994, it was approved for residential use.

Southfleet Parish Council approached the current owners Raymond and Pamela Watson about replacing the plaque and on Saturday (August 22) the new stone was unveiled.

Among those at the ceremony were some of them relatives of those remembered on the memorial, and one of them a Second World War survivor, watched as parish council chairman Noreen Salway, uncovered the new gilt-edged memorial and delivered an address in memory of those named are etched on it.

Mr Watson said: “We are honoured to be living in such an historic house, and thrilled to have been asked to accommodate a new plaque.

“We still have a copy of the Parish News report and the Order of Service from the ceremonial opening back in 1922, and an old photograph of the Major-General unveiling the first plaque.

“This weekend, we tried to recreate that Saturday all those years ago, and were really pleased to see people turning up to remember the soldiers who lost their lives in First World War. We would like to thank Southfleet Parish Council for giving us the opportunity to celebrate the history of our much-loved family home.”

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