VETERANS stood side-by-side with Beavers at a service to mark the unveiling of the first war memorial in Cowplain.
A service was held outside Age Concern’s Borrow Centre in London Road yesterday.
Scores of people gathered to pay their respects at the monument, plaque and rose garden.
The money to pay for it was raised by the Cowplain History Society, which started in 2013.
The group, which meets weekly at the Borrow Centre, was set up to write a book about Cowplain.
And Memories of Cowplain was published in 2014 and proved so popular – selling more than 360 copies – that the society used the profits to fund the memorial.
This memorial is dedicated to all those people of Cowplain who died in conflict. May it be a special place of remembrance and quiet reflection for those who have lost friends and family, not only now but for generations to come.Rev Barry Smith, from Havant
Rosemary Wilson, from the group, said: ‘All the other villages around the area have got a war memorial and we have never had one.
‘We have a book of remembrance at St Wilfrid’s Church but we never had one of our own, so this is why the people from Age Concern said they really wanted one. So we are really very pleased to provide one.’
Cadets from the armed forces and the British Legion marched down Padnell Road accompanied by TS Alacrity band to start the service.
Rev Barry Smith led the service, before mayor of Havant Leah Turner had the honour of unveiling the stone.
Mr Smith said: ‘This memorial is dedicated to all those people of Cowplain who died in conflict.
‘May it be a special place of remembrance and quiet reflection for those who have lost friends and family, not only now but for generations to come.’
Veteran David Baker, the secretary of the Aldershot branch of The Royal Hampshire Regiment Comrades Association, had come specially for the service.
Mr Baker, 78, a former signaller in the former infantry regiment, said: ‘I came to carry the standard.
‘It’s very important and necessary so that people can remember, in November and at all other times of the year.’
And it was not all veterans and older people in attendance – six-year-old Ethan Howell carried the flag for 1st Cowplain Beavers, which meets at the Allen HQ.
He was accompanied by his dad Simon Howell, 38, from Cowplain.
Ethan said he enjoyed marching, and the chocolate cupcakes afterwards.
‘It was very good,’ he said.
Beaver Scout leader Emma Galimore said she was proud of all the beavers for their respect and good behaviour.