Awliscombe brothers finally side by side on war memorial - just in time for centenary year
PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 12 November 2018
Two brothers killed during the World War One have been reunited on a memorial just in time for the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.
The medals had been awarded to the Hine brothers, who lived in Awliscombe, and came in to Chilcotts Auctioneers to be sold.
Research carried out by Honiton-based auctioneers Chilcotts uncovered the fact that although both brothers were killed during the war, only one brother was commemorated on the village’s memorial.
Private George Hine of the 8th Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment, was killed at the age of 24 on 14 July, 1916, during the early days of the Battle of the Somme. His name appears on the Awliscombe War Memorial as well as the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.
His brother, James, served in India with the Volunteer unit 2/4th Battalion, also of the Devonshire Regiment.
He survived active service and was discharged but died in August 1916. James was given a Commonwealth War Grave in Awliscombe churchyard – indicating that the War Commonwealth Graves Commission (CWGC) believed he died from an illness contracted whilst on active service.
However, his name wasn’t included on the memorial, because he wasn’t actually on active service when he died.
Auctioneer Duncan Chilcott said: “At Chilcotts we all thought this was an injustice, because although James didn’t die in action, his death was a direct result his service during the war.
“We felt it would be fitting if James’s name could be added to the memorial in the lead up to the 100th anniversary of the end of the war, so we took the idea to our local press.”
Cynthia Underdown, the great niece of the brothers, became aware of the story - in turn buying the medals when they were auctioned.
Awliscombe Parish Clerk Sally Maynard helped the process along with the Parish Council and the War Memorials Trust.
When no objections were raised to the addition of James’s name, Mrs Underdown contacted AG Real and Son Monumental Stonemasons to carry out the work, who insisted on carrying out the work or free, as a special tribute to local people who had fought in the war.
The two names are now side by side on the memorial.