Rye Rotary establishes cross-Channel links

RYE and Winchelsea Rotary Club made a dash across the English Channel last week to visit Poperinge Belgium.

Rye Rotary president Derick Holman said: “It was at times a somewhat sober day as it involved visiting Talbot House which provided respite care for WW1 soldiers mainly prior to them going in to combat. “Talbot House soon became known by its initials TH, and then, in the radio signallers’ parlance of the day as Toc H.

“It opened on December 11 1915 and although now mainly a museum remains a place of great spirituality. Toc H has four main aims three of which are fairmindedness, understanding and service, which coincide with the aims of Rotary.

“The Rye Rotarians also visited the site of the Old Town Hall to look at the execution post still standing marking the spot deserters were shot at dawn and also visited the local war cemetery (Lijssenthoek).

“However, the main purpose of the visit was to call upon Poperinge Rotary Club which by contrast was very light hearted and enjoyable.

“The two clubs presented each other with pennants to mark the joyous occasion with the Belgian club members promising to return the compliment and visit Rye and Winchelsea soon.”