A new centenary stone has been unveiled at a housing estate in Littlehampton to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Many of the roads in the Kingley Gate development in Benjamin Gray Drive are named after soldiers from the Littlehampton War Memorial and the tribute aims to further highlight their significance.
The memorial is the brainchild of councillor Mike Northeast and comprises three engraved granite plaques, one bearing the names, one a poppy engraving and another with the words of Robert Laurence Binyon’s famous poem For The Fallen – all set on a stone circle.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony on Friday (November 9), Mr Northeast said: “Apart from being informative, I hope the stones will be a permanent reminder of the selfless acts of bravery shown by all those sons, husbands, dads, brothers and sweethearts who, along with their fellow comrades, went off to war and paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.”
Mr Northeast’s father, 97-year-old World War Two D-Day veteran Stanley Northeast, said a few words during the ceremony.
He described the tribute as ‘wonderful’ and said it conjured up a lot of memories from his time in service.
The memorial, which was jointly funded by Barratt Homes and Bellway Homes, is backed by a feature wall constructed from restored flint and brick repurposed from a former dovecote dating back to at least 1876, which was discovered at the new development.
Alongside the Northeasts, mayor Billy Blanchard-Cooper, members of Arun District Council and members of the Littlehampton Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club were on hand to celebrate the opening, as well as dozens of residents.
The unveiling of the stone, which was concealed by a Union Jack flag, was followed by a minute’s silence in memory of the fallen soldiers. The ceremony concluded with the playing of The Last Post and Reveille by a bugler.
Julian Hodder, managing director for Barratt Southern Counties, said: “The centenary stone is an informative and effective way to commemorate the passing of 100 years since the great war, as it pays tribute to those who laid down their lives. At Barratt Homes, we are committed to celebrating the history and culture of Littlehampton.
“It is an honour to be able to unveil this long serving tribute at our new community here at Kingley Gate, and we hope that both new and former residents will visit the stones to pay their respects.”
The memorial was signed by Linda Oak Landscape Design and manufactured by Littlehampton stonemason Mark Butler.
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