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Author Topic: Little Common War Memorial  (Read 82 times)
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Craggs
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« on: March 25, 2017, 09:10:53 AM »

Little Common is on the outskirts of Bexhill, East Sussex.  It is also referred to as "Little Common and Cooden".   Cooden is the area closer to the sea than Little Common.

During WWI there was a massive Army training camp at Cooden Beach - which is now the local golf course - the footprint of the Army camp and the modern day golf course are quite similar.

The Little Common War Memorial stands on the roundabout of the A259 junction with the B2182.  The A259 is the very busy road that leads from Eastbourne to Hastings and the B2182 leads down to Cooden Beach.  When the war memorial was unveiled in 1920 the roundabout didn't exist - this was the Little Common village green.

The war memorial is a large granite cross standing on a bold square roughly hewn plinth.  The 'front' face names the 29 men who fell in WWI, the 'left' face shows the names of the 20 men who fell in WWII and the 'right' face shows "those lost on active service in conflicts since 1945" and bears the singular details of "R. A. WOOD.  AFGHANISTAN.  14.2.2011".

The war memorial was originally unveiled on the 21st November 1920 by Major General Sir John Longley KCMG CB and there is a very large newspaper article published in the Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 27 November 1920.  The article, however, is a long list of those who attended and focuses mainly on the speeches , nearly word for word , and the floral tributes that were laid - so I'm not going to type it all out. It does mention that the unveiling ceremony was the first time that the Mayor of Bexhill and members of the Corporation had been to or visited Little Common.   There are a number of other newspaper articles which show the committee's work in the preparation and planning for the erection of the memorial, one of which shows how the delivery of the granite cross was delayed because so many villages throughout the Country were in the process of ordering them and they were told that they would have to take their turn when it came.

There is an excellent local history website which has lots of historic photographs of the Little Common and Cooden and shows the village green as it was, how it was before the war memorial back in the 1800s through to modern times, the roundabout and the war memorial - a very good one of the unveiling and many more.  The link to that is  - Little Common and Cooden History

Attached are two photographs of the memorial which I took yesterday - it was a while before I managed to get a half decent gap in the traffic so I didn't get too many cars and lorries in the pictures.  I'll post the pictures of the four memorial faces in the next post.


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Craggs
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2017, 09:24:21 AM »

The four faces of Little Common War Memorial

Photograph 1 - 'front face' - the original WWI inscription of the names of the fallen.

Photograph 2 - 'rear face' - the original WWI "Little Common 1920" inscription with the added WWII inscription - it links the two nicely.

Photograph 3 - 'left face' - the names of the fallen from WWII

Photograph 4 - 'right face' - showing  "....... those lost on active service in conflicts since 1945" and bears the singular details of "R. A. WOOD.  AFGHANISTAN.  14.2.2011".

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Craggs
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 07:15:38 AM »

The inscription for ""R. A. WOOD.  AFGHANISTAN.  14.2.2011"  refers to :

Private Robert Wood
Royal Logistics Corps.
Born 24th June 1982
Died 14th February 2011

The following is an extract from the official Ministry of Defence notification published on the UK Government Announcements website

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Private Robert Wood and Private Dean Hutchinson, both of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), who were killed in a fire at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, on Monday 14 February 2011.

They were both killed in a fire at Camp Bastion, the cause of which is under investigation. It is not thought to be the result of enemy action.
Private Robert Wood

Private Robert Wood was born on 24 June 1982. He joined the RLC as a Driver Port Operator on 26 July 2001 and on completion of his training was posted to 17 Port and Maritime Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, his military home in Marchwood, Hampshire. From the very outset his presence and work ethic was clear for all to see.

Private Wood’s fortitude and cheerful ‘Wilco’ approach epitomises the very essence of what it takes to be an Army Stevedore. A proud and professional Port Operator, he would always be there to lend a hand, team work being an essential element to loading or discharging shipping. A very recent and proud father, he constantly thought of his new family and gained strength from the thought of returning to them.

Private Wood was part of the Theatre Logistic Group’s Transport Troop, a vital link in the logistic support to operations, when he was caught by a fire that took hold within his workplace, tragically claiming his life.

A hugely popular figure, Private Robert Wood - ‘Woody’ to his friends - will leave a void behind him that will be difficult to fill. The loss that will be felt by those in the Theatre Logistic Group and 17 Port and Maritime Regiment will pale to that of his proud parents and Rebecca, the mother of his beloved son, Noah. Private Wood was a caring and thoughtful man with a strong heart who will be sorely missed and forever remembered by all who knew him.
___________________________

The following is an extract from The Southern Daily Echo - 19th March 2011

The Southern Daily Echo - 19th March 2011

Private Robert Wood died on duty in Afghanistan

THE funeral has been held for a Hampshire soldier killed while serving in Afghanistan.

Private Robert Wood was given a full military send-off and honoured by his fellow servicemen.

The 28-year-old port operator, from 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, part of the Royal Logistic Corps, based at Marchwood, become a dad for the first time just weeks before his death, having a son with the girl he planned to marry.

He had also been selected for promotion.

The service was held at All Saints Church, Bexhill-on-Sea, followed by a private cremation

The family requested no flowers, with donations in lieu to be made to their son’s favourite charity, Help for Heroes, which provides care for wounded servicemen.

He was one of five soldiers whose bodies were flown into RAF Lyneham and driven through Wootton Bassett as part of a repatriation ceremony last month.

The family requested no flowers, with donations in lieu to be made to their son’s favourite charity, Help for Heroes, which provides care for wounded servicemen.

He was one of five soldiers whose bodies were flown into RAF Lyneham and driven through Wootton Bassett as part of a repatriation ceremony last month.

Major Steve Cornell said: “Pte Wood was a strong character with a sense of humour that shone through in the toughest of times. Immensely proud of his new son, Pte Wood was also proud of his service in the corps.

“An integral part of the squadron and excellent at his trade, he made a positive impact at whatever he turned his hand to. He will be sorely missed.”

Lieutenant Tim Fitzgerald said: “A highly dependable and kind-hearted man, the other privates looked up to and respected him.

“Only with us a short time, no amount of time is long enough to know a man like him.”
____________________________________________________________________

Both articles carry the attached picture of Private Wood

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