Foresters Friendly Society re-dedicates War Memorial

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Local branch re-discovers memorial plaque

Members of the Newport-based Isle of Wight branch of Foresters Friendly Society gathered at St Mary's Church in Cowes on Remembrance Sunday to re-dedicate a Foresters War Memorial Plaque.

The plaque, restored following its recovery earlier this year by Cowes town councillor David Jones, honours 38 Cowes men and 2 juveniles, all Foresters Friendly Society members, who lost their lives during the First World War.

Cowes Town Council paid £190 for the wooden plaque to be cleaned and repaired by local firm Wootton Historic Crafts and Restoration. The plaque had previously been left for an unknown period of time in a boat shed belonging to Cowes Sea Scouts.

The Remembrance Sunday service, which took place at St Mary's Church, Cowes, saw the plaque re-dedicated by Reverend Richard Emblin. Many of the Isle of Wight Foresters Friendly Society members attended, joined by relatives of some of the men honoured on the plaque, where a poppy wreath was laid.

Glyn Carpenter and Kevin Dann, Chairman and Chief Executive respectively of Foresters Friendly Society were also present, alongside recently elected Society President, Jim Launchbury.

Doreen Gant, Branch Secretary, Foresters Friendly Society, said:   "The re-dedication of the plaque was an emotional moment for everyone involved in its recovery and restoration, in particular the relatives of those brave men who gave their lives in the Great War.

"We are dedicated to helping our members in every aspect of their lives, and this includes providing a network of social support for those among us unfortunate enough to have lost loved ones, either in battle or any other circumstances."

Doreen Gant added:  "All our branch members are extremely grateful to Councillor David Jones and his fellow members of Cowes Town Council and in particular to local branch member Ken Baldwin for their help in recovering and restoring this plaque which would, otherwise, have been lost forever."

Foresters Friendly Society, which celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, also has a long history of supporting UK charities. Last year also saw Society members nationwide raise more than £45,000 for CLIC Sargent, a children's cancer charity.