Richard Holmes


Last Saturday the formal unveiling of the Udimore World War I Memorial Board was well supported, both by relatives of some of the men whose service is commemorated there and by others from Udimore and round about. Before he and his wife unveiled the board, General Moore-Bick commented on the remarkable fact that from one small village no fewer than 92 men went out to serve our country in active war service. Whatever its critics may have said in later years, it was a war that had to be fought, in defence of our threatened national values. The example of these men, and the millions of others who fought in the allied cause, has challenged us in later generations to uphold the values they fought for. He quoted the lines of the war poet John McCrae:

To you from falling hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

n Flanders fields.

This was an occasion for many reminiscences, the poring over of old photographs and the introduction of some “old timers” to residents of today; it was particularly good to welcome some Peasmarsh Eldridges, whose family has for many years maintained its links with Udimore. Meanwhile we were well refreshed with drinks, and with the products of Frank Langrish’s ever-popular barbecue. Nan Hacking did a great job, firstly in organizing the mounting of the board outside St Mary’s Community Hall in its new weatherproof case, and then in making all the arrangements for Saturday’s event, with the active help of the Hall Management Committee.

Many of you will have already noticed in the July Parish Magazine that there have been some changes to the monthly pattern of services in St Mary’s Church. As a result, this Sunday morning (the first in the month) there will be just one service, a Family Sung Eucharist at 9.30am. The 11.15am Family Service for All will be next Sunday (July 14) instead, and will then continue to be held on the second Sunday every month.

If you have already noted in your diary that the annual Macmillan Coffee Morning in the Hall will be on September 27, you will have noticed that it’s a Friday (not Saturday as I wrongly stated last week). If you haven’t, please do so now, also noting that Gill Rothery will be hoping for lots of home-baked, home-made and home-grown contributions for this bring-and-buy event.