Ex-Service Men’s Dinner
Held At The Unity Hall Wootton, 9th March 1920
Men who lived in the Wootton postal district were entertained by people of the village to a welcome home celebration; there were over one hundred people in attendance.
The platform was decorated with a large banner which read “Welcome to our heroes” and bunting covered the walls. The organising committee consisted of Mr Souter [chairman] with Sir E. Chatfeild-Clarke J.P. C.C., Major C. G. Brodie M.C., Major E. J. Gwyther, Capt Guy Mitchinson & Rev Causton supported by ladies of the village.
The chairman welcome the men back to Wootton and paid tribute to those that had paid the ultimate sacrifice which he believe numbered 12, a toast was then proposed to these men, and everyone stood.
Sir Edger Chatfeild-Clarke then proposed a toast to the “Navy, Army and Air Force” and went on to praise the work of these services and those who had given the life for their country. He then spoke at length on the work carried out by the Navy in keeping the sea-lanes open and ensuring the country survived.
He then moved on to the Island’s regiments starting with the Isle of Wight Rifles [8th Hants], which had served in Gallipoli and Palestine. Next he spoke about the 5th Hants Howitzer Battery who were at Ent, and Major Brodie’s company of engineers many of those who served were in attendance this evening, it would be difficult to find a better record of any serving troops. As far as men serving in the armed forces Wootton could be proud of itself with 120 out of a population of 700 being involved.
Tributes were then paid to the nurses both in the field hospitals and at home. In closing the evening the chairman thanked all those who had made the evening a success and hoped they could arrange the event the following year, the proceeding closed about midnight with the singing of “God save the King”.
Music and song during the evening were provided by Mrs. Guy Mitchinson, Mr. McMaster and Mr. Cooper.
For anyone seeking addition information on the 8th Hants Regiment see the book “The Isle of Wight Rifles [Regimental history]” by D. J. Quigley
Isle of Wight County Press