Rusthall: Great War Remembered

14 August 2018 | Bethany Reynard

Since 2008, Rusthall Community & Youth Project have been able to visit France and Flanders, searching for servicemen from the village who are commemorated in those countries.

To date the project has researched; visited; photographed and commemorated 85 of the 120 Great War servicemen inscribed on the village war memorial. Other servicemen who proved to be beyond the reach are commemorated in the Mediterranean; the Middle East and Africa.

It has been a real community activity, with youth members, Rusthall Local History Group and Clive Roberts, author of ‘Rusthall’s Fallen’ helping with research. Mixed groups of older residents, adults and young people have joined together for visits and young people have undertaken several residential visits to the Somme.

For identifiable dwellings, a photograph of the headstone or name plaque, with servicemen details, has been left with the current resident. A resident recently commented, when receiving her photograph – ‘you have brought them home’.

Young people prepared servicemen figures, made by volunteers, of an airman, soldier and seaman, each displaying a plaque denoting where Rusthall servicemen served and they have been placed in the grounds of St.Paul’s church, Rusthall and will remain until the end of the Remembrance period.