Adstock remembers: Relatives and villagers remember First World War fallen at poignant ceremony

Adstock Tommy unveiling at the War Memorial. Pipers. PNL-180906-221226009
Adstock Tommy unveiling at the War Memorial. Pipers. PNL-180906-221226009

The village of Adstock enjoyed a fantastic turnout last Saturday for the unveiling of a ‘Tommy’ silhouette as part of their celebrations marking 100 years since the end of the First World War.

As part of the commemorative event, an appeal was put out, with help from this paper, to find relatives of seven villagers who were known to have been killed in the war.

Adstock Tommy unveiling at the War Memorial. Cllr. Neil Fraser-Smith and Col. Mike Vince with 'Tommy' PNL-180906-221427009

Adstock Tommy unveiling at the War Memorial. Cllr. Neil Fraser-Smith and Col. Mike Vince with 'Tommy' PNL-180906-221427009

We’re proud to say that as a result of our article in support of the search, three of the seven soldiers were represented by relatives for the unveiling outside the village’s war memorial.

Organiser Neil Fraser-Smith said: “The Parish Council was delighted to be contacted by the relatives through the Advertiser as we had had no luck hunting for them ourselves.”

Private Henry (Harry) Phillips, L/Sergeant Reginald Phillips & Sergeant George Sirett all had family members in attendance to pay their respects.

Sally-Ann Phillips, whose Great Uncle was Harry Phillips, proudly shared a photo of the Private in full uniform and brought with her the infamous ‘dead man’s penny’ that was sent to the families of those who died after the war.

The ceremony began with The Milton Keynes Pipers and Drummers playing while they walked down from the church to the war memorial. Some people in Adstock, organised by Shelia Wood, had knitted poppies which were placed on the path and tied to railings, creating a really eye catching display.

Col Mike Vince MBE, who had agreed to attend, then read out the names of the fallen. As each name was called, a child from the village planted a poppy in front of the memorial.

Finally, the Tommy silhouette was unveiled by Col Vince to a drum roll.

Neil Fraser-Smith said: “It was a very moving event.