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Tongham War Memorial

Tongham War Memorial was presented to the village by Henry Morris Chester of Poyle Park, the last Squire of Tongham. It originally stood on the site of the corner of Poyle Road and North Side. The War Memorial was moved to its present position outside St Paul's Church when the Cardinals Estate was built. The memorial is made of Cornish granite.

The inscription reads

PRESENTED BY HM Chester LLD
OF POYLE PARK,
IN THANKFUL REMEMBRANCE OF
THE MEN OF THE TONGHAM DISTRICT
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN
THE GREAT WAR 1914-1919
THAT WE MIGHT LIVE IN SAFETY.

Tongham War Memorial

The dedication and unveiling of Tongham War Memorial took place on the Sunday afternoon of New Year’s Day 1922. About 50 ex-servicemen marched from the recreation ground under the command of Major Budden DSO RFA, led by the Tongham Brass Band under Bandmaster A Higgins; to join the Farnham Cadet Company under Captain HR Robins and the Choir of St Paul’s Church. A large congregation attended, and the service was conducted by Reverend Donald Pickering, Vicar designate.

The service began with the hymn “Fight the good fight” accompanied by the Tongham Brass Band, and then Mr CP Wattridge, representing the Nonconformist Church, read the lesson. Reverend Pickering then read out a list of the names of the fallen, whose names were not at this time inscribed on the memorial. The memorial was unveiled by Dr Chester, who can be seen on the left in this picture. Dr Chester then spoke, including explaining that the parish council would have legal charge of the memorial, and that everyone in the village would be responsible for keeping it in good order and condition. He finished with “Men of our land, of you let this be said, That those who live are worthy of the dead. These gave their lives that you may live to reap, a nobler harvest, ere you fall asleep”. The Vicar then dedicated the memorial and “O God our help in ages past” was sung. The buglers of the Farnham Cadet Company sounded the Last Post and Reveille. The Tongham Band played Chopin’s funeral march, and friends and relatives of the fallen men laid a number of beautiful wreaths at the foot of the cross.

The Unveiling of Tongham War Memorial
Tongham War Memorial in its original position

In this picture, the War Memorial is still in its original position.

Four names of men who died in World War Two, and one more from the Great War, were added to Tongham War Memorial in July 1997.

The ceremony was conducted by Reverend Peter Garland, with a lesson read by Sir Richard Thornton, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey. An address was given by Michael Reynolds, branch chairman of the Seale and Sands British Legion, and Sarah Fowler or Farnham sounded the Last Post as wreathes were laid by the Lord Lieutenant, Councillor Mike Pooley and Mr B Sturt.

Contributed by Gill Picken

St Paul's Church

Ash War Memorial

 


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