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Daventry’s WW1 Soldiers Commemorated with Remembrance Crosses

Written by on July 8, 2019

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Article Published on Monday July 8, 2019 2:49 PM by

- Daventry News -
Daventry’s WW1 Soldiers Commemorated with Remembrance Crosses

Daventry News -

Daventry Town Council has been presented with a record of remembrance for each of the Daventry men who died in the First World War in France and Belgium. The project was led by Malcolm Ogle, Daventry Town Councillor for Abbey South Ward, who made it his mission to visit the headstones and memorials of the WW1 soldiers named on Daventry’s War Memorial to place a hand-written remembrance cross.

During a trip across Europe in April 2018, two of Cllr Ogle’s friends placed 11 crosses at graves in France. Later that summer, accompanied by his wife Anne, Cllr Ogle spent a week in Albert France making 100-mile round trips to visit the graves and memorials of 26 Daventry men whose names appear on the War Memorial. A further nine crosses were placed in the Holy Cross churchyard, Daventry.

In February 2019, Cllr Ogle returned to France to place 75 further crosses, 28 of which would commemorate Daventry men. He and his wife also visited Belgium to do the same thing.

Cllr Ogle said, “I believe that out of a possible 65 Daventry men honoured in France we have placed a cross at every single one, and out of a possible 23 men in Belgium we have visited 22.

As the 23rd Daventry man was too far away to visit, I enlisted the help of a lady who lives close to the cemetery in Charleroi, to whom I mailed the cross for her to place. This ensured that every Daventry man whose name appears on Daventry’s War Memorial who died in France and Belgium during the Great War of 1914 to 1918, or who is buried in Daventry Holy Cross churchyard, has been visited and honoured.

In total, we covered over 2,500 miles, visited 108 locations and placed 222 crosses.”

The Daventry men are commemorated in a record compiled by Cllr Ogle, which can be viewed at Daventry Museum. Cllr Ogle presented the record to Mayor of Daventry Mike Arnold at a Town Council meeting on Monday 24th June.

Cllr Arnold said, “We thank Malcolm for his dedication to commemorating the lives of the Daventry men lost in the Great War and the time he has taken to ensure each of them is individually honoured.

The record he has compiled is a moving tribute to the men from our town who fought and died in France and Belgium, and I am proud to accept it on behalf of Daventry Town Council.”

Cllr Ogle thanked Daventry Town Council, Phipps Brewery Northampton and Weedon Bec Parish Council for providing donations for the purchase of the crosses, and Gerry Thompson for sharing information about the men from Daventry.

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