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WorldWar I | News Council visit remembers heroes Continued from page one


tribute to the fallen on Saturday August 2 – and the rest of the bor- ough dimmed its lights on the ac- tual anniversary of August 4. On Tuesday, August 20, the self- funded council quartet, along with French-speaking Colin Leith from Coxheath, are due to meet civic dignitaries in Montauban, which was “adopted” by Maidstone at the end of World War I, in memory of the 10th RoyalWest Kent Regiment which was deployed there in 1916 – many of them never to return. After the war, as part of a na-


tional plea for British towns to adopt and help reinstate French vil- lages, Maidstone paid for the build- ing of awater tower in Montauban to help counter a heatwave and drought, while 1,000 cider apple trees were also shipped over to help replant the devastated or- chards in the Somme. The water towerwas officially opened in 1925 by the then Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Frederick EdwinWallis. The visit is especially poignant


for Cllr Mortimer, whose grandfa- ther Sgt William Mortimer served with the Old Contemptibles in


Popular village exhibition


MARDEN History Group’s latest exhibition commemorating the centenary ofWorldWar I is proving so popular it will run until February next year. Villagers packed the library’s Heritage Centre for the opening by freelance


researcher Victoria Lingston, who has been involved in the ImperialWarMu- seum’s WWI exhibition and the BBC’s History website. The artefacts, which will change, currently includes information on medals


provided by the Imperial War Museum, memories of wartime in Marden, and a tribute to the village’s fallen. Commander Chris Childs, president ofMarden’s Royal British Legion, con-


gratulated the history group on its magnificent display. The exhibition is open during normal library hours and on Tuesday and Thursday evening and Friday and Saturdaymorning. Retired Marden farmer John Hall is pictured studying the exhibits.


France. As well as the British War Medal and Victory Medal, he was awarded the 1914 Star and a Mili- tary Medal for an act of bravery – all of which are now framed, along with old family photos, and take pride of place in Cllr Mortimer’s Coxheath home. At the time, the family lived in Folkestone and, after being wounded in 1917, Sgt Mortimer was sent home on leave for two months. He then returned to the front line until the end of the war the following year. He died in 1942 at the age of 56,


from the lingering effects of the mustard gas to which he was ex- posed during thewar. Cllr Mortimer said: “I feel very honoured and proud that my grandfatherwas among those who fought for the freedom we have today. It is only right that we should remember them on this, the centenary of thewar.” The Maidstone delegation was


due to lay a wreath at the war me- morial in Montauban and another in the localwar cemetery, aswell as visiting the water tower, which is no longer in use.


Booklet tribute FORMERMayor of Maidstone and ex-Chart Sutton parish councillor Mike FitzGerald has compiled his own 20-page tribute to the fallen in the village. Mike, of Laxton Drive, asked de- scendants to share their memories for a booklet, distributed with the parish magazine in August. He said: “Iwas keen to record the honour and contribution and sacri- fice made by the people of Chart Sutton during the GreatWar.” The booklet also includes the village Roll of Honour.


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