Cheddington honours its glorious dead

Wreaths and stones to honour Cheddington's war dead
Wreaths and stones to honour Cheddington's war dead

People of all ages and walks of life gathered at the War Memorial near Cheddington village green to remember the fallen.

The moving service was led by Rev Gill Rowell of Saint Giles Church and was followed by a Parade of Remembrance, headed by Scout leader Ian Hale and joined by more than 100 children and young people from village Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, Brownies and Rainbow groups.

The role of honour was read by parish council chair Cllr Chris Poll.

Cheddington History Society has traced a number of local men who served in the First and Second World Wars.

Chairman John Smith – who read the Kohima epitaph – said 124 from the First World War and 71 from the Second had been discovered.

He added: “We commemorate those who gave their lives and we tend to miss many other heroes who returned.

“Today I want us to remember one of our own villagers whose name is not given on the memorials because he returned to civilian life after the Second World War.

“His name is Horace Dan Bonham, always known as ‘Son’ Bonham, husband of the late Elsie Bonham.

“He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps at Kohima.

“The 1944 battle there was significant as it ended the Japanese threat in south-east Asia and was fought in the hill country of India, near the border with Burma.

“It led to more than 4,000 Allied casualties and even more Japanese.”

Mr Smith said ‘Son’ must have saved many lives, judging from a newspaper report which read: “The blood transfusion expert is Corporal Horace Bonham of 5 New Street, Cheddington, who helped to give 400 blood transfusions during the two months of the Kohima battle. He is a laboratory technician in peace time.”

Wreaths were laid by various village organisations and residents were invited to lay stones at the foot of the Memorial to represent all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The choir sang a touching rendition of the Remembrance anthem and everyone gathered for refreshments in the Methodist Hall.

> Cheddington School held a service on November 11.