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Village honours its fallen

PUBLISHED: 14:28 18 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:13 23 August 2010

A VILLAGE war memorial honouring eight men who lost their lives during the two World Wars has been officially unveiled. The memorial plaque, in Harvel Village Hall, in Harvel near Meopham, was rededicated at a special ceremony attended by the Mayor of Gr

A VILLAGE war memorial honouring eight men who lost their lives during the two World Wars has been officially unveiled.

The memorial plaque, in Harvel Village Hall, in Harvel near Meopham, was rededicated at a special ceremony attended by the Mayor of Gravesham Bronwen McGarrity, councillors and members of the Royal British Legion on Tuesday. Displaying the names of seven men who lost their lives during WWI and one name from WWII, the memorial has been cleaned and re-lit, and moved from its previous position in the hall as part of a refurbishment of the building.

Amanda Jones, 63, of Harvel Road, and the secretary of the Harvel Village Hall Committee, said: "We are a small hamlet, but the eight names on this war memorial are very important to us. Eight men is a lot of people to lose from a village of this size.

"We are very pleased with how it looks, and are grateful to the committee members who helped clean and move the memorial to where it stands today. People visiting the hall say how much more prominent it is."

Canon Gordon Oliver, the rector of Meopham Nurstead and Harvel, conducted the rededication ceremony on Armistice Day.

He said: "It is a very fine piece of artwork that commemorates something hugely important in this community.

"The death of eight young men in the community, in a hamlet like this, is an enormous sacrifice.

"It kind of resonates even more now with the men and women who are losing their lives in Afghanistan."

The Village Hall Committee plans to start a Harvel Archiveto record and collect historical artefacts and documents relating to the village.

Mrs Jones added: "We have realised that if we don't do something now, a lot of history in this village will be lost forever.

"We have tried to trace a few of the names on the plaque, but so far have not had much success.

"A couple of the names displayed are big Meopham names, like Fairbrass and Bugg, but we would like to hear from anyone that may have any information on these names or has any historical information on the village like photographs, newspaper cuttings or other artefacts to get in touch.

If you can help visit www.harvel.net or contact Amanda at mandiejjones@yahoo.co.uk

A COUNCIL forecourt fell silent for two minutes as Army veterans led a tribute to remember serviceman that had lost their lives fighting for their country.

The Pause to Remember service was held outside Gravesham Borough Council Civic centre on November 11, Armistice Day.

Army veterans from the Royal British Legion followed members of the Army Cadet Force on a parade along Windmill Street before the service as the Reporter went to press.

Reverend Canon Chris Stone led the service which saw music played by the Salvation Army band. A short poem was read y pupils from Gravesend Grammar School.

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