We use the Weaverham News, The Hartford News and the orchard notice board to remember those who are named on our local war memorials as well as survivors of conflicts. Thanks to Eric Hulme of the Weaverham branch of the Royal British Legion and to past copies of the Northwich Guardian researched by Peter Clarke on behalf of Weaverham History Society we have a lot of information about many of those who are named on the Weaverham War Memorial. We have far less information about those named on the Hartford War Memorial. We are grateful to those who respond to our appeals for information about any of those named on either memorial or about those who survived.
In January 2019 The Weaverham History Society received an e-mail from Tom Hillier in Australia whose sister Judith had found a very moving letter from Edith, the mother of Ordinary Seaman Edward Ashton, Royal Navy. Tom and Judith’s mother had nursed the 18 year old from Weaverham in 1943 during the Second World War as he lay dying in Melbourne Hospital. Edith had written to thank her. They sent the letter to us as it was their wish that it should be returned to the family. I appealed in the Memorial Orchard contribution to the Weaverham News and on the Memorial Orchard notice board for help in tracing the family but received no response. This summer I repeated the appeal on the orchard notice board and received an e-mail from Andrew Pope, an investigator, who offered to trace the family. I am pleased to say that he succeeded in doing so and the letter has been returned to Edith’s granddaughter. It has been the centre of much attention in the family. Our thanks go to Andrew for all his hard work.
2020/2021 has been another unusual year due to lockdowns but the Memorial Orchard has, we hope, provided a place to recuperate and find peace whilst enjoying nature. Some visit the Memorial Orchard to picnic and for others it provides a place for quiet reflection. For others it is just part of Thorn Wood where they can exercise or walk the dog. It is there thanks to our sponsors, our sturdy band of volunteers and in particular to our action group members (who are, of course volunteers at the Memorial Orchard). I would therefore like to thank our secretary Mike Hornby not only for all the work he does on our behalf but also for his wit, our treasurer Brian Williams who drew up the orchard plan and organises the care of the orchard, Jacquie Williams who aids and abets him, Fiona Casson who maintains our bee hotels which she made a few years ago and who cares for the picnic benches, Peter Sayers who mows the footpaths and the grass in the children’s circle of bush Wareham Russets, Steve Doughton who is responsible for the website and John Freeman.
Lastly I would like to thank you all for your continue support.
Tina Johnson 233rd September 2021