2nd July 2006, Wreath Laying to commemorate the Battle Of The Somme, 1st July 1916
Left to Right:- Alun Jones (Belton), David Groves, MBE, Owen Ward (Long Whatton)
The Dedication Ceremony
Seventy-three men from Long Whatton responded to the call to arms and six gave their lives for their country in the First World War. On 24th February 1921 fellow parishioners erected a simple but striking memorial to their memory. A Celtic cross of grey Cornish granite was placed in the school grounds, opposite the church. It is 8ft 6 ins in height and bears the crusaders sword in relief on the shaft and the inscription For King and Country. In honoured and grateful memory of the men of Long Whatton who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918. Lest we Forget'
A committee of parishioners, with the rector as chairman and Mr Wheatley as treasurer and secretary, had made the arrangements and the work was accomplished by Messrs Maile and Sons of London, Messrs Hobbs and Sons of Long Whatton being responsible for the erection.
An impressive service of unveiling and dedication on the Sunday afternoon was attended by a large gathering from the parish and the neighbouring district. The first part was in the church of All Saints and was shared by the representatives of the other denominations in the village. The singing was led by the combined choirs of the church and the Wesleyan and Baptist chapel. The Rector, Rev W. G. Brocklebank, read the sentences and prayers. The first lesson was read by the Rev EJ Simons, Castle Donington, superintendent Wesleyan Minister and the second by Mr. T Cooke, Loughborough, lay preacher at the Baptist Chapel.
The address was given by the Rural Dean, Rev W. A. King of Woodhouse. Speaking on the words, 'Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,' the Rural Dean said the memorial would stand in the midst of their village life as a witness to them and to generations to come of the memories of the mercy of God, of great things done and as the tribute of their lasting remembrance and affection and pride to those men of Long Whatton who laid down their lives for them, for freedom and for right. That cross would bear a silent witness, far more eloquent than any words, to what, after all, were the great things in life, love, sacrifice and duty.
During the singing of 'Onward Christian Soldiers,' the clergy, choir and congregation formed in procession to the memorial cross, which was unveiled by the Right Honourable Lord Crawshaw. His Lordship said he considered it a great privilege to speak of those who by their patriotism saved the good name of England and made us safe in our hearths and homes. They were proud of the contingent that went out from Long Whatton. They knew the names of all and they wished they could know their deeds of bravery and self sacrifice. Deeds, which in many cases meant giving life itself for a friend. These deeds they would know some day, but not now. Well was it that England had such worthy sons to fall back on in her dire distress. They honoured those who went from Long Whatton and what more would those men have desired than that simple, solemn, peaceful service under a glorious sky and attended by all their friends and neighbours round. He thought it was a good thing this memorial cross was in a public place and he hoped as they passed they would look at it, not with tears, but with a smile of reverence, of pride and of appreciation the debt owed to their fallen friends.
He unveiled the memorial and handed it over to the care of the village, hoping that it would stand as an incentive to the highest duty and service.
The Rural Dean read the dedicatory prayers and after the hymn 'For all the Saints' Bugler Dakin of the 5th Leicesters sounded The Last Post' and The Reveille'.
The names of the fallen
Frederick Bacon, William Wain, Edwin Whiting, George Staniland, Samuel Buckley, Ernest Whiting
Less than thirty years later another eight names were added to the War Memorial after giving their lives in service during the Second World War.
Fred Davies, William Morley, Leonard Highton, Albert Lester, Hubert Highton, Donald Wain, John Harrison, Roland Nobes.
Details of the Fallen
These details are taken from the Commonweath War Graves Commission Website, which should be consulted for more details. Because of the lack of information, it is often difficult to identify each individual, so please inform us of any errors.
Leonard George Highton, joined the R A F in 1941. He lived at 83 Station Street Loughborough. He died on the 20th December 1947
and his buried in Long Whatton Parish Church. His death certificate states he died of an illness contracted during war service in Mayala.
His gravestone reads:- In Loving Memory of my dear husband, Always remembered
We have been unable to locate the casualty record John Harrison. If anyone has details to narrow the search, then please let us know.