This year marks 100 years of Remembrance as we know it today as the RBL marks its centenary. This year at garden will be installed in New Palace Yard for MPs to plant their tribute.
There are so many people from Tamworth who have given the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe but I used the project to pay tribute to the brave men below:
Iraq War – Pvt Leon Spicer, Pvt Phillip Hewett
World War 2 – AB Colin Grazier
The Great War – Rev Maurice Peel, Lt Basil Green
Private Leon Spicer and Private Phillip Hewett both of Tamworth, of 1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment, died from injuries sustained in hostile action on 16 July 2005, in Maysaan province, Iraq.
- Private Philip Hewett, died aged 21, from Tamworth, was Second Lieutenant Shearer’s driver.
- He was skilled as a driver of both Land-Rovers and Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles and had been with the platoon since arriving in the 1st Battalion three years ago. A cheerful and intelligent young man with a natural air of confidence,
- Private Hewett had marked himself as having a sound future in the army and had been selected to attend a promotional course in the winter. Exceptionally fit, he was also short-listed to become a Physical Training Instructor.
- Private Leon Spicer, died aged 26, was also a Tamworth soldier. After sustaining a serious injury to his leg the previous year, he had worked against the odds to become fully fit again. He had shown tremendous grit and determination to rejoin 7 Platoon
- Colin Grazier - Tamworth's War Hero (1920-1942) Able Seaman Colin Grazier is one of three British servicemen whose brave actions are widely recognised to have shortened the Second World War by as much as two years.
- Colin served on board HMS Petard when, in October 1942, he and fellow seaman Lt Anthony Fasson lost their lives retrieving vital German codebooks from a sinking U-boat. The third sailor, Tommy Brown, survived the war, only to die in a house fire while still a teenager.
- The precious documents they seized enabled Bletchley Park’s code breakers to crack the Enigma codes and so win the Battle of the Atlantic. Now recognised as a pivotal moment in world history, the mission was cloaked in secrecy for over 30 years and not even their families could be told they had paved the way for peace.
- Colin Grazier was born in Tamworth and married only days before he left to go to sea on the mission which would end up being his last. The Colin Grazier Memorial was erected in St Editha’s square in 2002.
- Chaplain 4th Class The Hon. Maurice Berkeley Peel Army Chaplains' Department. Son of Arthur Wellesley Peel, 1st Viscount Peel, former Speaker of the House of Commons; husband of the late Emily Peel. Vicar of Tamworth since 1915.
- Immediately war broke out he volunteered his services as a chaplain and went to France in October 1914 with the 7th Division, being awarded the M.C. early in 1915. He accompanied the men whenever they went, and at the Battle of Festubert personally led one of the battalions of his brigade to the attack, carrying nothing but a walking stick. He fell in that action severely wounded in four places but refused to be attended to until all the other men had been looked after. He was sent home to England and took a year to recover, and in the course of that year was appointed in Tamworth.
- In 1917 he again volunteered, and was sent to his old battalion. He was killed by a sniper shortly afterwards - on 14 May 1917 - at Bullecourt, while going out to rescue a wounded man. There is a stained glass window dedicated to his memory in St Editha's Church, Tamworth.
- 2 Lieutenant Basil Green 5 Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment Lt Green served four years in the Territorials before rejoining in September 1914. He was posted to the Western Front on 3 March 1915 and wounded on 1 July 1916 at the start of the Battle of the Somme.
- On 25 August 1917, Lt Green was posthumously awarded the Military Cross for his action on 14 June when he led a trench raid and then spent an hour in no man's land searching for wounded. The medal was eventually presented to his mother by Sir John Maxwell during a special investiture held at Nottingham Castle in March 1918.
- Lived in Market Street, Tamworth
I will be at St Editha's Church this year for the Remembrance service. I will be keeping these men and many other service people in my thoughts on Remembrance Sunday.