Last Saturday, Amber Rudd MP visited Westfield and saw the impressive and innovative display of poppies made by individuals and organisations from the community before attending the “Westfield Remembers WWI Exhibition” in the Parish Church Hall, which had been meticulously researched and produced by Mrs Ruth Carter and her colleague Mr Simon Knight, together with displays by youth and other village societies.
Mrs Carter was born in Westfield where she has spent all of her life. Her interest in social history was sparked by the many hours spent with her grandparents Robert and Charlotte Barnes sharing their memories of their lives in Westfield in earlier years. Having been the secretary to the Fete and Fund Raising Committees of the Westfield Community Association since its inception in 1974, Mrs Carter subsequently participated in the 1984 Community Hall Opening Ceremony, followed by staging several more exhibitions prior to this World War 1 Exhibition.
The fruits of countless hours of research are on display this week starting from Saturday 3 November in the run up to the Armistice Centenary on Sunday 11 November. Mrs Carter and Mr Knight (whose interest in WW1 commenced when he was given as a youngster his Grandfather’s medals) started researching the names from the village war memorial and then extended their work to as many others as they could find including those with a connection to Westfield who sadly lost their lives in World War I and those who served in this war but survived.
Mrs Ruth Carter said, “We were delighted Amber was able to visit our Exhibition and spend time discussing with those involved her interest in what was displayed”. Amber said, “It was a privilege to be invited to attend this exhibition which I found incredibly moving, particularly when I saw that one family had lost no fewer than three sons, two of whom died on consecutive days, whilst others lost their young lives whilst still teenagers. Such comprehensive village research was amplified by the screening of live footage from World War I, showing the trenches, the mud, and the awful circumstances in which young men, one as young as 17, had to endure, along with the daily possibility of facing an early death.”
Notes to editors:
From left to right: The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Mr Simon Knight, Pauline Filsell-Paige, Mrs Ruth Carter and Mr Ben Carter