WHEN the Second World War ended, parishioners in the village of
Doddinghurst, near Brentwood, in Essex, were faced with a stark
choice: repair the bomb-damaged stained-glass windows of All
Saints' Church, or else erect a memorial to the local victims of
It was eventually agreed that their limited funds should be
spent on repairing the church. But, in 2012, two villagers,
Caroline Seville and Gail Farrow, decided that the war-memorial
project should be resurrected, and they set up a committee to raise
the £14,640 needed to build it. Last weekend, their project was
completed when the Archdeacon of Chelmsford, the Ven. David Lowman,
dedicated a new monument in the church grounds.
Mrs Seville said: "The churchyard is in the centre of the
village, and a public footpath runs right through it. People could
see graves of casualties from World War Two, and kept asking why
there was no memorial.
"We did some research, and found that we were one of only a very
few villages of our size - we have a population of around 7000 -
that didn't have a memorial. There was a plaque inside the church
for the dead of World War One, but nothing else."
Now the names of the ten parishioners who were killed between
1914 and 1918, and the 11 servicemen and civilians who were killed
between 1939 and 1945, are all inscribed on the new memorial.
They include Lt John Allen, son of the then Rector of
Doddinghurst, the Revd Francis Allen. He was killed during the
Normandy landings in 1944. "His father was so crushed by his death
that he couldn't stay on at Doddinghurst," Mrs Seville said.
One of the committee, Laurie Gray, traced several of the
casualties' relatives, and invited them to the service.