A SOLEMN service was held in Sampford Courtenay earlier this month to officially dedicate the new war memorial.

The tablet erected in the village square includes the names of 11 servicemen left off the original one, which is still in place.

Among those who attended the service of dedication was villager Les Beer, whose brother Stan is among the names inscribed on the new memorial.

The others are Frederick E Horne, Frederick S Pyke, Samuel J Hutchings, Wallace E Lake, Harold C Manuell, Edwin J Hawkins, William H Hill, Samuel J Horne, Courtenay William Lake and Harold W Hawkins.

Their names were discovered through research carried out by former parishioner David Knights. The memorial has been funded with £3,000 from the Devon Remembers project.

The service on Wednesday, August 15, was led by the Rev Rita Bullworthy with Okehampton methodist minister Liz Singleton. Music was provided by the Hatherleigh Silver Band and North Tawton bugler Peter Cripps sounded The Last Post while Ben Stephens was the standard bearer.

Sampford Courtenay Parish Council has been working for four or five years to bring the project to fruition.

Parish clerk Marion Pratt said: ‘There were only six names on the war memorial originally and we don’t know why. That was in 1919, just after the First World War, and it may have been due to the rush to get something erected at the time, we’re not sure.

‘During his research, though, David Knights found another 11 names of men from the village who had died in the First World War and Second World War. One of them, Stan Beer, was the brother of Les Beer who still lives in the village. He was there at the service and so were two relatives of two others whose names are on the new war memorial.

‘The service was great, we had representatives from Okehampton and North Tawton Royal British Legion and a standard bearer and a bugler, Hatherleigh Silver Band played and afterwards we had refreshments in the Church Hall. It was a really lovely occasion.’

Pictures by James Bird