Eye-opening exhibition of Greatham’s war past a big success

Councillors Ray Martin-Wells and Brenda Loynes join people at the exhibition of war memorabilia
Councillors Ray Martin-Wells and Brenda Loynes join people at the exhibition of war memorabilia

AN eye-opening exhibition of Greatham’s war past was a big success.

Greatham Community Centre was filled with table top displays of memorabilia revealing the role the men of the village played in both the First and Second World War.

Dozens of people attended the event held to mark the start of the First World War 100 years ago.

It was organised by the Greatham In Bloom Committee as part of an ongoing project to produce a new booklet shedding light on the First World War soldiers named on Greatham War Memorial.

Tables of historic documents, medals and maps attracted keen interest from people of all ages.

Dorothy Clark, chairman of Greatham In Bloom, said: “It was wonderful.

“For a small village what we had on display was very good indeed.

“All the memorabilia came from people in the village.”

The exhibition was held straight after a small service at Greatham War Memorial in the grounds of the church.

It also featured information profiles on 13 men from the village who died in the Great War including photographs of the ceremonies where they are buried.

Organisers appealed for more information at a table when visitors were asked to tell them their story.

And 95-year-old Jim Lindsay manned a table telling his family’s story of his grandfather, Joseph James, who died in the First World War.

He also showed off medals that belonged to his father, also called Joseph, who lost his life in the Second World War.

Elderly residents from the Hospital of God in Greatham attended the memorial service and exhibition where refreshments were served.

The finished booklet will be distributed to every household in Greatham when it is finished.

Greatham in Bloom produced a similar book several years ago for the Second World War.

Anyone with information to contribute to the new booklet can contact Dorothy Clark on (01429) 870292.