Seaton remembers the fallen

Vera recalls how her dad was saved by the prayer book in his breast pocket which slowed a German bullet

SEATON residents turned out in force today (Friday) to wear their poppies with pride.

They gathered at Windsor Gardens to remember the victims of war and observe the traditional two minutes’ silence.

The exhortation and Kohima Epitaph were read by local RBL branch secretary Maurice Ayling and the bugler was chairman, Lt Cmdr Derek Payne. Standards were carried by Jim Partridge Hogbin and Bruce Roberts.

Amongst those at the ceremony was Vera Butcher, aged 86, a resident at the Check House Nursing Home, who had a remarkable tale of wartime courage – and luck.

She recounted how her father, Parker, had been shot by the Germans in the First World War – but survived because the bullet was slowed as it passed through a prayer book he kept in the breast pocket of his uniform.

“It saved his life,” she said.

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But she said he dad had still suffered the effects of gassing during the conflict and her two brothers were also involved in Second World War battles at Tobruk and Dunkirk.

Fellow residents at the home, unable to make the trip to Windsor Gardens, took part in remembrance events at Check House.

* Becci Fry helps Vera Butcher from the moving ceremony. Photos Chris Carson