Community honours war dead with plaque

Councillors do not care

I’m glad to say that the weather was kind to us on the day. It was nice to see people of all ages attending the unveiling of the plaque and seeing representation by the forces in attendance. I was, however, disappointed by the lack of attendance by some local councillors who, if this had been election year, would have been trading their wares.

These people will smile, shake your hand and try to jump through the smallest of hoops for you in election years, but when it comes to the things that are really local and do matter to local residents, are nowhere to be seen. I just hope people remember these things when they come knocking at your door next time. At least Mick Haines (Independent) is trying to do things for the residents of Marston and makes sure the little people are represented. You don’t have to love the man to see he cares.

Memorial thank-you

A very special thanks goes to The Rev Elaine Bardwell of St Michael and All Angels Church, Marston Road, who performed the service and blessed the ground where the plaque is situated.

Also a very special thanks to Mrs Bridges from Cromwell Close, Marston, who unveiled the memorial plaque.

A big thank-you must go out to Andy Higgins, who arranged for the Army and Navy personnel to attend the service and also to have the Last Post played.

Finally, a big thank-you to the members of our local community who turned up for the service and the Marston British Legion who put on refreshments for the people who attended.

MICK HAINES (Cllr), Croft Rd, New Marston, Oxford

Plaque honours Marston's brave heroes

Memorial trees were planted more than 60 years ago where an air raid shelter used to be in Marston Road but there was no formal sign marking their importance.

The plaque was unveiled on Saturday after much campaigning from Mar-ston councillor Mick Haines.

The service was conducted by The Rev Elaine Bardwell, vicar of St Michael and All Angels Church in Marston, with around 100 people in attendance.

Josie Bridges, 88, of Cromwell Close, attended the original tree planting event 62 years ago – and returned to unveil the plaque, which remembers the 27 people from Marston who gave their lives during the war.

The Rev Bardwell said: “When I first came here 17 years ago someone mentioned that the trees were planted as a war memorial but they have never been marked officially.

“It is really good to see all sorts of different parts of our community – young and old alike.

“Though we do like living in Marston, we don’t often have occasion to get together in this way.”

Lieutenant John Lee led the Headington Detachment of the Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force to salute those who gave their lives and a bugler played the Last Post to mark the occasion.

Mrs Bridges said: “I didn’t know I was going to do the unveiling until the day.

“It is a pretty big honour. During the war I lived in Mill Lane, the last house but one at the end of the village.

We were all glad when the war finished.

“It is about time we remembered those who died isn’t it?”

Mr Haines said: “It has been a struggle so far to get this, but the turn out today was fantastic and the service was brilliant.

“The people mentioned at this service today died for this area and this shows the people of this area appreciate what they have done.

“Now this plaque is here permanently for generations to come.”

Betty Fletcher, of North Way, Headington, who lived in Taveners Place, Marston, during the war, said: “I remember when the war ended, a soldier was so delighted he was going from house to house knocking on doors and we as children followed him like the Pied Piper.

“It is a bit nostalgic today.”


Rev Elaine Bardwell blesses the plaque


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