St Andrew’s Ham, WW1 Centenary Service,
10th November 2018.
The War Memorial by St Andrew’s Church records the names of the 41 men of Ham who died in WW1. One hundred years on from the end of that conflict, we gathered to remember them in the Church, where many of them were baptised and married, and members of their families were buried. Each grave of the men and their families was tidied, marked, decorated and lit, and the War Memorial professionally cleaned. Local historian Margaret Frood has spent many years researching their stories, which have been written up into a book by Gordon Elsden.
In the service some of these stories were read out
by young people from the Ham and Petersham Sea Scouts, Grey Court School, Meadlands School, St Richard’s School, The Russell School and Kingston Grammar School. A candle was lit for each man lost and the St Andrew’s Choir with extra choir from the schools sang ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’, ‘Keep the home fires burning’, and there were hymns and prayers for peace.
2 wooden battlefield crosses that first marked the graves of Herbert and Thad Wells, were respectfully brought to the front of the church by Grey Court students and hung on the screen. A third brother William, also died at sea in that war, and the crosses were brought back to Ham by another brother, Jack, who survived and remained in France laying out the huge war cemeteries there. The congregation included descendants of some of the men who died, including the Wells Family.
The service was attended by the Mayor of Richmond, Major of Kingston, Councillor Andree Frieze, Area Dean Robert Stanier and a congregation of over 350. We ended with the carol ‘It came upon the midnight clear’, with its message to ‘Hush the noise ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing’, and were invited into the hall where there was tea and hundreds of cupcakes decorated with poppies.
Act of Remembrance
St Andrew’s Church Ham
11th November 2018
We were very happy to welcome Pastor Georg of the German Lutheran Congregation to our service. The Lutherans have shared St Andrew’s Church building with us for over 40 years and Pastor Georg attended as a sign of our unity and goodwill. He and the Vicar of St Andrew’s, Revd Alice Pettit led prayers for peace during the annual Service of Remembrance. Afterwards the choir and clergy processed from the Church to the War Memorial for the Act of Remembrance. We were joined by many more from the local community to hear the bugler play and observe the 2 minutes of silence. Afterwards we planted native bluebell and wild garlic bulbs around the War Memorial which will become a carpet of flowers each spring.
War is Over – 22nd November.
This concert of Peace and Reconciliation was held at The German School, Petersham (DSL). It was organised by Churches Together in Ham and Petersham with support from all the local schools and the Ham and Petersham Sea Scouts, who read stories and poems and performed musical items of many different styles.