Tonbridge Memorial Gardens have recently received an incredible makeover. The undulating paving, sunken litter-filled pit and unsightly tree stumps have all gone and in their place now sits a peaceful haven with a very special atmosphere. It’s an area Tonbridge can truly be proud of and, at 7.30pm tonight, it will provide the perfect backdrop to a Centenary Vigil being hosted by the Royal British Legion.
As well as commemorating the townsmen who fell during WW2, the memorial wall displays the names of the 346 local men who fell in WW1. Over 3000 men left the town to fight and throughout the 30 minute vigil, poppy images will be projected onto the wall as a mark of respect. The events of WWI and the armistice will be at the heart of the service led by Rev. John Perkins, who is representing the chaplaincy of the RBL, and prayers for peace in areas still involved in conflict will be made.
Pam Mills, the towns Royal British Legion Youth Officer, has been working hard to bring the town’s war history to life for our local school children and its wonderful to learn that, following the recent competition to design the new commemorative statue, local children will once again be involved with the memorial garden. The 17th Tonbridge Area Scout and Guide Band will provide buglars and accompanying music for the Hillview school singers. Some of these children are only a few years younger than those who went to war and the song they will be singing was written by 15 year old Elizabeth Mills.
Elizabeth wrote the song following a school trip to Tynecot cemetry and “We will remember them (peace now)” personally gives me the shivers. If you can’t make it to the service tonight you can still hear it, and help the work of the Royal British Legion and the Tonbridge Memorial Garden, by buying a copy through this link. –https://elizabethmills.bandcamp.com/releases
The Centenary Vigil starts at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11 November 2015.
The Tonbridge Memorial Gardens can be found at River Walk – between the High St and the River Medway – Tonbridge KENT TN9 1ED
And you can learn all about it’s recent refurbishment, and those who made it happen, by visiting: http://www.tonbridgememorialgardenstrust.net/