Puttenham villagers give thanks for soldiers’ safe return

The people of Puttenham welcomed a convoy of more than 30 bikers during a commemorative journey to raise £51,000 for the Royal British Legion.

Dougie Bancroft and Medwyn Parry began their fundraising journey in Wales, and are visiting all 51 villages across the UK that were lucky enough to welcome home all their men who fought in the First World War.

Members of the Royal British Legion Tring and Berkhamsted branch welcomed the convoy into the village, where they were offered welcome refreshments.

There was a short service at the village’s St Mary’s Church, before a slate plaque was presented to commemorate the returned soldiers and their service to their country. The plaque will be officially installed and unveiled next year, to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the war.

Reverend Huw Bellis said: “Dougie and Medwyn are a really lovely couple of guys. It was very moving. It also reminds us that it was supposed to be the war to end all wars.”

Reverend Jane Banister said: “It was good to be able to be part of that.

“It made you think how difficult it must have been for them; how incredibly relieved they must have felt, but also how difficult it was for them to talk to others who had lost someone.

“It made you very aware of it all.”