Service marks memorial centenary

A poignant service took place on Saturday to mark 100 years since the Spittal War Memorial was unveiled.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 1:23 pm
Some of those in attendance at the service. Picture by Dale Hall.
Some of those in attendance at the service. Picture by Dale Hall.

In attendance was the Mayor of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Coun Alan Bowlas, Mayoress Jo Bowlas, Sheriff, Rev Canon Alan Hughes, the Sheriff’s Lady, Susan Hughes, the Sergeant at Mace, Joyce Benton, the Civic Head of Northumberland, Coun Ian Hutchinson and his consort, Eileen Armstrong.

The service was led by Rev Rachel Hudson, the welcome address was read by Coun Georgina Hill and “For the Fallen” was given by Dale Hall.

Representatives of local organisations, including Spittal Improvement Trust and Spittal Bowling Club, also laid flowers – as did some of the members of the public. The piper was Laura Robertson.

Spittal War Memorial was unveiled by Brigadier General Riddell on July 10, 1921, in honour of the 37 men of Spittal who died in the First World War.

It reads: ‘To the memory of the Spittal men who gave their lives in the Great War’.

Names were added years later, ‘To the memory of the men and women of Spittal who fell in the 1939-1945 War’.

The proceedings 100 years ago were opened by Coun WJ Dixon, who was chairman of the War Memorial Committee.

Coun Hill quoted a section from Coun Dixon’s address from 1921: “We are gathered together this afternoon to pay homage to the memory of the 37 of our fellow citizens who laid down their lives for their King and country during the Great War. We, the inhabitants of Spittal, and our friends have erected this memorial to their honour, but it is utterly impossible for us, in any way, to adequately express our gratitude for the great sacrifice they made for us.

“They went forth without a murmur to untold hardship, suffering and death, while we were living in peace and comfort at home.

“We fought the good fight and are now at rest, but though they have gone from our midst – the memories and the noble deeds they performed on our behalf will ever live green in our hearts.

“It has often been said that we as a nation soon forget, but I hope that as long as this monument stands it will be a reminder to us and all those who come after of what we owe to the gallant man whose names are inscribed on it.”