Towards the west of Hook, on the green, beside the A30, stands Hook’s War Memorial. To be precise, it’s also the War Memorial for the parish of Newnham and Nately Scures, since when it was erected in 1920 the parish of Hook had not yet been created and parts of modern Hook fell within Newnham and Nately Scures parishes.
The memorial records those from Hook, Newnham and Nately Scures who gave their lives in the two world wars of the twentieth century. The inscription reads:-
THIS STONE OF REMEMBRANCE
WAS RAISED IN HONOUR OF THE MEN
OF THE PARISHES OF
NEWNHAM AND NATELY SCURES
WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES
FOR THEIR COUNTRY
IN THE GREAT WAR
The form that the memorial should take was the subject of much local discussion. Local photographer William Froud, who ran the chemist’s shop in the centre of Hook, was in favour of erecting a bandstand on the green (he was a keen member of the brass band, which practiced in the band hall after which Bandhall Place was named). Other residents thought that the noise of the band might frighten the horses passing along London Road.
The memorial – the stone pillar which was finally chosen – was dedicated on July 11th 1920. It bears the names of twenty nine local men who fell in the Great War of 1914-18.
|William Champion||Alfred Clark||Harry Englefield|
|Alfred Fitchett||George Gubby||Arthur Holdup|
|Ernest Holdup||Charles Lane||William Lane|
|John Lever||George Maconchy||Thomas Marker|
|Frank Matthews||Sidney Morris||Vernon Morris|
|Charles Stent||Frederick Stringer||James Willis|
Following World War II, the names of the nine local men who were killed in action were added to the south side of the memorial.
|Alfred Barrett||Horace Gresley||James Macintosh|
|Lionel Mariner||Geoffrey Pike||William Stone|
|Bryan Unwin||Robin Watt||Walter Maynard|
The other two sides of the memorial remain, thankfully, blank, but the name of one other casualty of the Second World War is read out when local people gather to remember their war dead. Helen Hamilton was at work in her shop in The Bury, Odiham, when she was killed by a bomb on October 18th 1940. Her death, along with those of the three other women and one man who died with her, is commemmorated on a plaque in Odiham High Street.
The Royal British Legion organised Remembrance Day ceremonies at the memorial for many years, but these lapsed during the 1970s. They were revived in 1985 and wreaths have been laid there on Remembrance Sunday ever since. A service is also held in St John’s Church.
The pictures below show the wreath laying, followed by a parade through the village by uniformed groups including the Royal British Legion Corps of Drums, that took place in 1985 and 1986, the first two Remembrance Sundays after the revival of the custom. The parade led off from the War Memorial following the wreath laying and finished at the Elizabeth Hall, where a service of remembrance was held. Parish Council Chairman David Burke laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Hook and took the salute in Station Road, alongside the Chairman of the Royal British Legion’s Old Basing Branch.
The 1985 ceremony and parade were repeated in 1986. The wreath-laying at the memorial on Remembrance Sunday continues to this day, although the parade has been discontinued.
See also: the men who were killed by the Unexploded Bomb