Local housebuilder Barratt Homes has unveiled plans to commemorate the passing of 100 years since the end of WWI later this year in Littlehampton, honouring many local war heroes. Working closely with Councillor Mike Northeast and Arun Council, these plans have been in the works for a long time. The new Centenary Stone will be positioned by the entrance to housebuilder’s Kingley Gate development on Benjamin Gray Drive, and the unveiling event is expected to be open to Councillors from the local community.
The unveiling ceremony which is scheduled to be held at 11am on Friday 9th November will form part of a number of commemorative events in the town. The approved installation will comprise of a series of engraved granite plaques and stone circles featuring the names of fallen soldiers from the local area, alongside a verse from Robert Laurence Binyon’s famous poem, For the Fallen.
The design was chosen by Littlehampton residents in 2015 from a choice of three styles. Tying in further to the rich history of the area, the Centenary Stone feature walls incorporate restored flint and brick repurposed from a former dovecote dating back to at least 1876, which was discovered at the development.
The Centenary Stone will be revealed by Mayor Billy Blanchard-Cooper of Littlehampton and Councillor Mike Northeast’s father Stanley Northeast, a WWII D-Day Veteran. Other Councillors from the area will also be present to pay their respects, as the remainder of the event will feature a speech delivered by the Mayor, and The Last Post will be played.
Barratt’s support for the cause continues into the development itself, as many of the roads are named in tribute to local fallen soldiers.
Lynnette St Quintin, Sales and Marketing Director for Barratt Southern Counties, commented, “It’s very rewarding to see our plans for the Centenary Stone come to fruition, and we are delighted that the design has now been approved. We are proud to pay tribute to those who lay down their lives 100 years ago and look forward to the unveiling in November. Events such as these help to bring the community together and will help future generations of Littlehampton remember some of the important history associated with the town.”
Local Ward Councillor Mike Northeast, who initially proposed the idea for the Centenary Stone, said. “I’m proud and extremely pleased to see it being unveiled to commemorate the end of this terrible war. Its purpose has always been to inform everyone of the reasoning behind the road naming on Kingley Gate, whilst paying tribute to these local heroes, picked at random from the town’s cenotaph. They paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. I’m grateful to the commitment and support shown by Barratt Homes, who I have worked closely with to achieve this local commemorative project’.