The Parish of Sandal Magna

Plaque in Sandal Churchyard


A moving ceremony was held on 9th June, to unveil a plaque which has now been placed on a wall adjoining the Church path. The plaque records the story of the arrival of the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards, soon after their evacuation from Dunkirk. They were billeted with residents of Sandal, Walton and Portobello. On 8th June they mustered below St Helen's and a roll call was held. On Sunday 9th June, 1940, a Parade service was held in St Helen's, on a Day of National Celebration.This event was witnessed by an 11 year old Gerry Southworth who recounts his vivid memory on this link.


http://www.sandalmagna.com/dbfiles//180609gerrystal252991406181077552436.mp3



The ceremony was attended by many residents of the Parish, and by David Dinmore, Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, Mary Creagh MP, Kevin Trickett MBE, President of the Wakefield Civic Society who created the plaque, Gerry Southworth, whose idea it was, and Brigadier David Maddan former CO of The Grenadier Guards, who unveiled the Plaque. These are his words:
 'It's a great honour to represent the Grenadier Guards here today at this unveiling ceremony.
Soldiers are recruited from the community, serve their country and return to the community after their service. In that sense, we are you and you are us.
During tough times fighting abroad and when recovering from the ordeal, soldiers draw on the community to sustain and protect them. We do difficult things for you and you reaching out to us is of immense comfort.
This initiative recalls a shining example of a community reaching out and its commemoration resonates very directly with those who serve today.
It is a great privilege to unveil this plaque on behalf of the Grenadier Guards and especially those who served on the 3rd Battalion in 1940 during the evacuation from Dunkirk.'

The Plaque is the first in Wakefield to record a story rather than a remember a person, and is a military brown colour which better blends in with the ancient stonework of the Parish Church and Churchyard. It can be seen on the wall to the right as you go down the church path towards St Helen’s. Sandal Bell Tower rang the recently renewed bells to mark the occasion.




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