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Sombre for the Somme Centenary

A post about the Somme centenary service in Hawkesbury Upton and Simon Bendry’s new book commemorating Hawkesbury’s war dead and war veterans

Panoramic photo of hills around Hawkesbury
The Somerset Monument, commemorating a local officer in the Napoleonic Wars, towers above my village, Hawkesbury Upton

Sometimes looking around our village, nestling comfortably on the last of the Cotswolds before the landscape tumbles down into the Severn Vale, it’s easy to believe that this is a safe and privileged place, untouched by human conflict.

That is, until you notice the village war memorial, marked by a simple cross on the Plain, as our small village green is known. Surrounded by historic houses and the traditional pound, where stray livestock would be impounded for the collection, the war memorial is a daily reminder that during both World Wars many members of our community served their country in HM Armed Forces, a substantial number never to return. Some of these were lost while serving in the Somme.

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