On Sunday 11th November, the villagers and councillors of Plymtree gathered to unveil an ‘Area of Quiet Contemplation’, a public space in the heart of the village, funded by the Parish Council and inspired by the cessation of hostilities of the first World War.
Councillor Ian Robinson, chair of Plymtree Parish Council, expressed his thanks to all involved in creating the space and went on to explain the various elements which include a commemorative plaque, inscribed bench and peace rose.
The centre piece of the area, a unique colourful mosaic, was created by renowned local glass artist Siddy Langley, who unveiled her creation.
When asked about inspiration for the design she told me that there was an initial agreed theme of a peace dove flying over the Devon hills upon which she was able to add personal interpretation guided by drawings created by the children of Plymtree School.
The poppies in the mosaic signifying the Plymtree residents who had lost their lives in both World Wars. Driver Samuel Bird from the Royal Field Artillery, Gunner, Frederick Stiling, Royal Artillery Private, Albert Grabham, Durham Light Infantry were lost in WW1 and Private, Harold George Franks, Kings Own Royal Regiment and Sergeant Air Gunner, Francis Stephen Knight, Royal Air Force in WW2.
The poppy bud (rather than a full poppy) represented Alfred Franks born 15 July 1900. He signed up for the Royal Navy for 12 years in July 1918. He survived the war but died at the Royal Navy hospital in Plymouth suffering from bronchial pneumonia aged 23.
The sturdy oak frame was crafted by Graham Kirby and the engraved words (at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them) were added by Nick at Lazer n Creations at Willand.
The locals who gathered to celebrate the anniversary and the unveiling, were rightly proud of the new addition to our small community.
Thank you to all involved in the rewarding project.
Text and photos by Claire Fry