CANALSIDE curate Reverend Joy Albone has dedicated a memorial bench to men from Semington who died during the First World War.

She was joined by Semington parish councillors Steve Rimmer and Mike Kasasian, Royal British Legion representatives from Melksham and Edington, and villagers for the service on Sunday September 8.

The memorial bench is located next to the bus stop opposite the West Wiltshire Crematorium and positioned in front of the ten oak trees which were planted alongside the A361 last October to commemorate the centenary of the 1918 Armistice.

The parish council fitted an inscribed memorial panel to the bench, the base of which has been provided by Mr Patrick Ward and his family.

The names of the men who fell during WW1 are inscribed on a memorial at St George’s Church at Semington. Two men who died from ill health following the war are buried in the churchyard.

The service was organised by Cllr Rimmer, 70, who said: “1919 was ‘Homecoming’ for many of the men who had survived the war.

“At the time there were only 450 people living in the village in only 70 households so this represented a significant loss for the community.

“Over the following few years two more men who came back from active service died through ill health resulting from their wartime service and they are remembered on their gravestones in the grounds of the Church in Semington.

“In November 2018, ten oak trees were planted on the grass verge opposite the crematorium on the A361.

“If all is well ‘The Semington Oaks’ should bear witness to these events for many more years."

After the service, those present enjoyed a Red Cross cake baked by Bev Woodward to a 100-year-old recipe given to her by Cllr Rimmer.