Stonemasonry students from Bath College have volunteered their time for a project honouring local men who served in World War I.
The Level 3 students have carved commemorative paving stones for Mulberry Park, a new development of 700 homes, community facilities and open spaces in southern Bath being built by housing association Curo.
A local group – the Combe Down Heritage Society – suggested that the streets within the new development were named after the young men of Combe Down who served in World War I. Each street will be marked with a commemorative paving stone.
The first paving stones to be unveiled honour Henry John ‘Harry’ Patch, William George Chivers and Herbert Charles Windell. Harry Patch, “the Last Fighting Tommy”, was the last surviving combat soldier of the First World War from any country. All three men grew up in Combe Down village.
Relatives of William George Chivers attended to lay the stone which honours him. Jonathan Cope, who grew up in Combe Down said: “We’re really touched that our relative is being honoured in this way. Our family has a strong connection with Combe Down – my mother even worked on the former MOD Foxhill site. It is really important that future generations remember the sacrifices of those who fought in the world wars.”
Liz Potter, Chair of housing association and house builder Curo, said: “It’s a real privilege to work with the local community to honour these men.
As Mulberry Park develops, we will continue to celebrate the history of the local area while looking forward to an exciting future for new and existing residents.”
Curo has worked with Combe Down Heritage Society and stone carving students from Bath College to create the commemorative paving stones that will mark each street.
The paving stones were kindly donated by Forest of Dean Stone Firms. Stone carving student Jonny Stoker said: “It’s my way of paying respect to those who fought in the First World War, especially coming up to Armistice Day. I’m looking forward to visiting the site and seeing all the stones laid together in situ. I think that will give me a massive sense of achievement. Volunteering for projects like this gives me the chance to test what I’ve learned at college.”
The ceremony to unveil the first paving stones was attended by college students, representatives of Combe Down Heritage Society, the Royal British Legion, Bath and North East Somerset Council and MP Wera Hobhouse.