World War I Commemorations

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The Church was invited to take part in last Saturday’s village event “Spirit of Victory” to mark the Centenary of the end of WWI. In scorching temperatures and with a quick adjustment of the schedule to accommodate a football match, the whole day went with a swing.

Deputy Lord Lieutenant with the French Standard bearerThe tale of two villages – Stoke Poges and Etricourt-Manancourt in the department of the Somme – and the remarkable woman, Mrs Dorothy Allhusen, who brought them together through her philanthropy, was told by Cllr Ralph Bagge, Chairman of Stoke Poges Parish Council and Lt Col Simon Wilkinson, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, (in both French and English!). The Mayor of Etricourt- Manancourt, M. Jean-Pierre Coquette was an honoured guest.

We sang both national anthems and the Act of Remembrance was read by local children.

Andrew leading prayersThe Church was represented on stage by Revd Andrew Parry who led prayers and an address and we offered refreshment in the form of Cream Teas in partnership with the WI, orchestrated by Cream Tea Queen Bee, Kate Holliday.  A huge thank you to everyone who made scones or donated other goodies and those who helped out on the stall – we have discovered a collective talent!


Noreen and Nicky on their way to the Tea Tent

Some of the congregation stayed to waltz the night away to the band and the whole village witnessed the fireworks which rounded off the event.

We look forward to supporting and participating more village events as a church very much part of our community.

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Editor’s note – A portrait of Mrs Dorothy Allhusen by John Singer Sargent was recently restored in its home in the USA. Click or paste this link for a short Youtube video about it.