War memorial rededicated after 100 years

The parish singing hymns
The parish singing hymns

Villagers gathered as Scaynes Hill War Memorial was rededicated after undergoing significant restoration work.

The war memorial is in the grounds of the parish church, which meant the vicar of St Augustine’s, Lisa Barnett, wanted to organise a big event and to invite the wider village.

The memorial was first unveiled in June 1920, remembering the 16 young men from the village who never returned home from the Great War, which is situated outside St Augustine’s parish church in the heart of the village.

The event became ‘Scaynes Hill: then and now’ and lots of different village organisations were invited to tell some of the stories of their groups, from 100 years ago and today.

Over 100 villagers gathered on June 23, almost exactly 98 years since the original dedication, to hear stories from 12 different village organisations, such as the village club, the WI, the Sustainability Group, the Scouts, the cricket club and the primary school.

The community choir also lead the congregation in singing ‘Sussex by the Sea’.

The most poignant story that was shared between the groups was of how the village pub had hosted a special meal for the men of the village, the night before they left to ‘join the colours’.

After sharing stories from the village, a representative from the Royal British Legion led the assembly out into the sunshine, where they gathered around the War Memorial, to start the proceedings of the rededication.

Crosses were laid in memory of the 16 from the village who lost their lives in WWI, as well as further crosses for other lives that have been lost in conflicts past and present.

A former vicar of the parish made an appearance to say a few words for the special event.

Canon Lisa Barnett said: “It was a special time of thanksgiving, for the life of our village over 100 years, and for those who gave their lives 100 years ago, for the peace that we enjoy today.”