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WW1 comemoration
By Neil Price, Co-Editor

August 12, 2014: EXHIBITION NOW IN HATHERLEIGH CHURCH TILL END OF AUGUST On Saturday the 2nd August, Hatherleigh were pleased to welcome Mrs Dorothy Ellis the last surviving widow of a soldier from the First World War, to officially open the Commemorative Exhibition at the Community Centre. Mrs Ellis laid a wreath of poppies made by the children of Hatherleigh Primary School in front of a mock WW1 tank, she was then presented with a bouquet of flowers. Representing Hatherleigh Primary School and presenting the wreath and the flowers to Mrs Ellis were Jayfin and Robin Carter and Ella and Josh Bowden. Mrs Ellis`s late husband Wilf Ellis from Iddesleigh, was one of the men who told the author Michael Morpurgo of his time in the trenches, a story which helped to inspire “War Horse”. Michael Morpurgo kindly gave permission for Monica Jones to read his introduction to the centenary edition of War Horse at the opening as it included Dorothy Ellis and also Michael`s hopes for reconciliation and peace in the world. This is something which I`m sure is uppermost in all our minds at this present time. Reverend Ruth Hansford then invited the people of Hatherleigh to view the exhibition of research, photographs and memorabilia provided by the Commemoration team, the Hatherleigh History Society and from individual family collections. This will be an on-going project over the next four years of the commemoration of WW1, the final product being a book telling the story of Hatherleigh during the period of 1914-1918, of those who died, those who returned from service and those who were left behind. The exhibition has now moved to the church and will be there until the end of August for those who haven`t managed to see this yet, the Hatherleigh Primary School project is certainly worth viewing as they have done some marvellous work. The day was rounded off with an evening concert which included music from the Silver Band and songs from the Squires family accompanied by Shirley on piano and also from Brian Abell and Lucy Fawcett. Poems and letters from the front were read by Geoffrey Cleverden, Lily Bater and the Hatherleigh Players and then the evening finished with a rousing medley of popular songs lead by Sandra Priest accompanied with gusto by Marjorie Cleverden and with full audience participation. Dennis Bater did a splendid job as Master of Ceremonies. Our thanks go to all those who helped with the setting up, stewarding, catering, donations of prizes for the raffle, the loan of the tank and Gary and Lisa at the Community Centre. And thank you the people of Hatherleigh who loaned us your memorabilia and all those who supported Hatherleigh`s Commemoration of WW1.

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