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War heroes honoured at New Road

The Worcestershire memorial plaque in honour of the county's players-members who gave their lives during the First World War has been restored and will be relocated in the foyer of the Graeme Hick Pavilion at New Road.

A rededication service by former secretary-chief executive Reverend Michael Vockins was held in the Kenyon Room before the start of play in the LV= County Championship clash with Gloucestershire today.

The service was also a dedication to a new memorial plaque, for those players omitted from the first memorial and those who died during the Second World War, which will also be situated in the Graeme Hick Pavilion.

Club president John Elliott read out the names of all the players who gave their lives and it was followed by a minute's silence and then the closing blessing by the Reverend Vockins.

The original plaque was housed in the 19th century pavilion above the main bar but the severe winter floods of 2007 and the building of the Graeme Hick Pavilion in 2009 led to all the memorabilia that had been on display being removed.

It has been lovingly restored to its former condition by five students of Stourport High School.

Worcestershire Board member Meriel Harris said: "It is only relatively recently that we've been able to assess which and where some of these reminders of our yesterdays should be displayed.

Members gather in the Graeme Hick Pavilion to pay tribute to the new memorial plaque issued in remembrance of the county's war heroes

"One particular item was the club's original memorial detailing 17 members who gave their lives in the Great War.

"This is a beautifully crafted memorial which used to hang above the bar in the old pavilion.

"However, I suspect the years of smoking members standing below it while waiting patiently for their pint to be pulled had resulted in it becoming heavily blackened and almost impossible to read!

"But it has been restored by the students at Stourport High School to its original condition who have done a fantastic job.”

"In addition it was decided to have a second memorial to include players whose names were omitted from the first memorial plus those who gave their lives in World War Two."

The Rev Vockins said: "It is very poignant the group of players, who gave their lives in 1914-18, to secure a better world for the rest of us, the war that was to end all wars, and, of course, we now know that didn't do that.

"It's sad that it conjures up the memory of young men and actually some that were not so young. The first one who died, a chap called Nesbitt, was 43.

"It is fitting that they are remembered and it is good that the plaque has been renovated and is going to be re-sited along with the second memorial plaque which includes people who were not recorded on the original plaque."

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