Ashburton remembers those affected by conflict
Today's service of remembrance was one of my final official duties as the 1201st Portreeve of Ashburton. I've attended, or been a part of, the remembrance service for many years and the same two things strike me each year.
The missing names bring home the devastation of the Great War to our community
The number of people who come to honour our servicemen and women. This year we had a noticeably larger crowd than previously. That may have been partly down to the fact that the pandemic prevented people from attending over the last couple of years, but whatever the reason - there was a sizeable crowd and lots of wreaths laid in memory of those who served in the two world wars.
The names of the fallen - so many well known local names are read out during the service, many of those family names are still in the town today. It's also sad to contrast the list of those who lost their lives in the first world war, with the list for the second world war. The second list is much shorter and several family names are missing which brings home the devastation of the Great War.
This year's service was particularly poignant as we were reminded of the conflict that has been waged in Ukraine and devastated so many families on both sides of the conflict - and which has brought families fleeing the conflict into our own community.
Ashburton is a fantastic community that proudly honours those local families that have given so much in past conflicts and supports those that are affected by the current conflict.
Names of those who died in the Great War (1914 - 1918)
Names of those who died in the Second World War (1939 - 1945)
E. PAT ELLIS