Dowland Poppy Tribute Remembers Three Lost Soldiers
A beautiful memorial has been created to remember three young soldiers from Dowland, near Winkleigh, who were killed during World War 1.
The memorial was made to honour William Piper, 29, his brother Arthur, 21, and George Westcott, 21.
It was discovered that four Piper brothers went to war. The third brother, Harry, passed away at the end of the war from influenza, so the family lost three sons. Whilst none of the Piper family remain in the village, George Westcott’s relatives are still farming in the parish.
Following the discovery that there was no war memorial for these three young men, a group from Dowland decided to create a tribute for them.
As the soldiers were all farmers who were born in the parish, they wanted to create something which had a ‘rural feel’ which was meaningful and personal.
They created a metal memorial bench, which is situated in the churchyard and decorated with scattered poppies in the grass. Alongside this, they created a beautiful display of 5000 poppies cascading down the church tower.
Inside the church there is a display telling the life stories of the three young men, with 3000 individually handmade red flowers encircling the soldiers.
Susie Dunn, who helped organise the project, said, “This project actually achieved more than all of this in that it united a whole community in our determination to permanently remember three young men who had their future stolen in order to protect the values and beliefs of our country over a hundred years ago.
“The Imperial War museum has formally registered our Memorial Seat as an official War Memorial saying that it is one of the ‘most beautiful’ they have seen and the story of each of our soldiers is now recorded forever.”
“The aim was to provide the village with its own focal point where people can pay their respects but ultimately bring the names of our young men back to Dowland for future generations to remember. Arthur Piper, William Piper and George Westcott fought for a world that they would never know.”
Dowland Church will be holding their first service of remembrance on Saturday 12 November at 10:45, beside their new war memorial. Some veterans from the Devon and Dorset regiment association will also be there bearing their regiment standards.