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Peace Garden to honour centenary of Great War

Hart District Council and Odiham Parish Council have worked together to create a Community Peace Garden, to commemorate 100 years since the First World War.


The idea first arose in a public meeting in Odiham in 1919, where it was decided that the creation of a war memorial would be followed by “a peaceful memorial of a useful nature”. Almost a century later, the District and Parish Council have delivered on the initiative by creating a Community Peace Garden.


The Peace Garden officially opened on Sunday 11th November and can be found at Chapel Pond on the Odiham North Warnborough Boundary. It offers a quiet place where residents can reflect, complete with poppy gardens, attractive planting, trees and benches, as well as information boards to give some background on the garden and honour soldiers who were awarded the Victoria Cross.


Cllr Simon Ambler, Cabinet Member for Partnerships at Hart District Council, said: “Memorial events have been held across the district to mark the centenary of World War 1 and ‘Tommy Silhouettes’ have been placed around Hart in remembrance of those who fought in the war.


“I am so pleased Hart have been able to support Odiham in creating this special memorial, which will also act as an area for the whole community to use.”


British soldiers of WW1 became well known as Tommies, although few people were aware that origins of the name are also very close to home. It appears that ‘Tommy’ was born in Odiham. Details of where the name came from can also be found on the information boards at the garden.


Cllr Jon Hale, Chairman of Odiham Parish Council, said: “Odiham has had extensive plans in place to mark this significant Centenary event for some time. However, given the revelation that our Parish is the home of the British Tommy and with the knowledge provided by John Champion that the Parish Council had the opportunity to deliver on an idea put forward by Miss Chamberlain at the conclusion of WW1, the Peace Garden seems an extremely fitting tribute to the occasion.”

For more information about the memorial visit www.odiham.org.uk.


John Champion, Cllr Jon Hale and Cllr Simon Ambler at the Peace Garden

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