First World War tribute in Hoddesdon

Bright red poppies and striking silhouettes of soldiers adorn new benches in the Borough of Broxbourne to commemorate the First World War.
As part of the Council’s World War One Commemoration programme, the wrought-iron seats pay tribute to the local people who lost their lives in the Great War.
One has been installed in the Old Highway Recreation Ground in Hoddesdon, close to the boules club and bocce court, and the other offers impressive views across the Lea Valley from close to the amphitheatre Cheshunt Park.
The seats complement the same designs installed in Barclay Park and Cedars Park in 2016. Another was installed in Barclay Park in 2017 by the Friends of Barclay Park, a volunteers’ group that helps to maintain the green space.
An additional bench will be installed near to Goffs Oak’s war memorial. This has been funded by the locality budgets of two Hertfordshire County Councillors; the Leader of Broxbourne Council, Cllr Mark Mills-Bishop, and the late Robert Gordon, the County Council’s Leader until his death last year.
Chairman of Broxbourne Council’s World War One Commemoration Panel, Councillor Bren Perryman, said: “These wonderfully crafted benches are an act of remembrance of the sacrifices made during the First World War, as we mark its centenary, as well as sacrifices made in conflicts past and present.
“Each seat offers people a place to pause, think for a moment and take in the beautiful surroundings of our borough’s parks. They are rugged and long lasting benches, which will be enjoyed for many generations to come.”
Broxbourne Council’s World War One Commemoration Panel was set up to oversee a programme of events and initiatives between 2014 and 2018.
As part of this, the Royal Anglian Regiment marched through Hoddesdon in July 2017 to celebrate them being awarded Freedom of Entry to the borough.
Events have included a ‘For the Fallen’ community performance and screenings of War Horse and Private Peaceful. Commemorative heritage plaques have been installed to recognise the contribution of the First World War nurse Edith Cavell and Admiral of the Fleet Sir Hedworth Meux.
Local soldier Stephen Warner’s First World War diaries have been digitised and exhibited at Lowewood Museum in Hoddesdon, ceramic poppies made by schoolchildren were displayed at Cheshunt’s Old Pond roundabout, and budding bards took part in a ‘War and Peace’ poetry competition.
Picture caption: Councillors by the bench in Old Highway Recreation Ground.
From left to right: Cllr Mark Mills-Bishop (Leader of the Council), Cllr Carol Bowman (member of the WWI Commemoration Panel), Cllr Bren Perryman (Chairman of the WWI Panel), Cllr Lyn White (WWI panel member), Cllr Ken Ayling (Hoddesdon and Rye Park Ward councillor)