Thursday, 13 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday, Keld - Sunday 9th November 2014
There are four names on the Keld War Memorial;  Richard Alderson, Thomas Clarkson,
Wm Waller Hutchinson and Robert Rukin.  The four fallen soldiers all came from the head of the dale; Keld, Angram and Skeugh Head.
At the Remembrance Day Service, in this the centenary year of the outbreak of WWI, representatives from each family were present. John Rukin of Keld, great nephew of Robert Rukin, laid a poppy wreath in remembrance of the four who lost their lives during the Great War and for all those who have suffered as a result of war and conflict.
left to right: Bill Hutchinson (nephew of William Hutchinson), Marina Whitehead & Margaret Fawcett (nieces of Richard Alderson), Dorothy Brown (neice of Thomas Clarkson), John Rukin & James Cooper (great nephews of Robert Rukin).

As a result of research into the lives of the four men (undertaken by friends of the Keld Resource Centre) photographs, information, transcribed letters and telegrams are on display in the Keld Countryside & Heritage Centre.  

Marina Whitehead is a niece of Richard Alderson who was killed in France whilst taking part in a reconnaissance raid.  His body was never found.  He is remembered on the Menin Gate.

Bill Hutchinson is a nephew of Wm Waller Hutchinson.  Waller died of pneumonia, aged 19, in an army hospital in France on Armistice Day.  He is buried in France.  News of Waller's death was received by his mother at the Cat Hole Inn, Keld where the Hutchinson family lived.  The sensitively written letter from the Army Chaplain bearing the sad news can be seen in the centre.  He wrote "He passed away this morning (11/11/1914) just before 2 o'clock.  We laid his body to rest this afternoon in the hospital cemetery not far away, and he was borne to the grave beneath the Union Jack."
Dorothy Brown and Elizabeth Alderson both descendants of Thomas Clarkson who is buried in Muker churchyard.  Thomas Clarkson was seriously wounded in the head and was transported back to England where he died in a London hospital.  He is the only one of the four men to be buried on home soil.

The soldiers's medals, memorial plaque, dog tag plus poignant letters and photographs can be viewed in the centre's display cabinet.  

James Cooper, great nephew of Robert Rukin, looking at the display that includes the last letter Robert's mother letter wrote to him.  It was eventually returned to her marked 'Return to Sender'.  When she wrote the letter her son was already dead.  Robert Rukin died in one of the last battles of the First World War.  He is buried in France.

The Keld Resource Centre wishes to express their thanks to all who gave their time and shared their knowledge during this research project.  Also grateful thanks to those who loaned photographs, personal letters and documents which form an invaluable part of the exhibition.

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