On the 7th of October 1916, 30-year-old Wilfred Herbert Hillier from Chandler’s Ford was killed in action in France. There was no known grave.
You’ll find Wilfred Herbert Hillier’s name on Chandler’s Ford War Memorial.
This post tells you the story of a lost and found plaque for Wilfred Herbert Hillier, and a special dedication service which will take place this coming Saturday at Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church.
Margaret Doores, in her post on Chandler’s Ford War Memorial, mentioned the sacrifices of the men and woman from Chandler’s Ford during the First World War:
“In Chandler’s Ford, at the outbreak of WW1 in August 1914, the population was probably a little over 1,000. By the end of the war some 51 men and 1 woman, whose names appear either on the war memorial, or on the memorial plaque inside the church, had made the ultimate sacrifice.
By Margaret Doores in her post: Chandler’s Ford War Memorial. Can You Help?
A special dedication service for Wilfred Herbert Hillier
This coming Saturday – at 11.15am on 28th February 2015, there will be a special dedication service in the Dovetail Centre of Methodist Church to remember Wilfred Herbert Hillier.
Wilfred Herbert Hillier was the great uncle of Chandler’s Ford historian Barbara Hillier, whose book on the history of Chandler’s Ford should be on the bookshelf of every Chandler’s Ford household.
You can now buy the book, The Chandler’s Ford Story: From Earliest Times to the 21st Century, by Barbara Hillier and Gerald Ponting, from WH Smith at the Fryern Arcade.
Barbara Hillier: how the plaque disappeared and then discovered
I met Barbara Hillier in the Dovetail Centre at Chandlers Ford Methodist Church yesterday morning.
Barbara showed me a plaque about her great uncle. The plaque has only been fixed on the wall in the Dovetail Centre just a week ago. However it is not a new plaque.
Barbara told me that the original plaque was placed in the Methodist Church’s chapel, but had been lost in the church for decades during the church’s renovations since 1950s. To Barbara’s delight, recently the plaque was discovered, and it has now been carefully restored, and a wooden frame was added to it by a member of the church, Brian Hopwood.
The plaque carries the text:
In loving memory of Wilfred Herbert Hillier
A devoted servant of God and this church
Who fell in action in France
October 7th 1916
Aged 30 years
Erected by the Congregation and Sunday School
Barbara told me that she talked about her great uncle at the Remembrance Sunday service last year at the church. Since the discovery of the plaque, the church minister Reverend Peter Cornick suggested a dedication service and blessing, which Barbara happily accepted.
You’re invited: dedication service
Barbara said the dedication service on the 28th of February at 11.15am will be very short, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
You are very welcome to witness this special event, not just about this precious ‘lost and found’ plaque.
It’s about the link of the family history of the Hilliers, the church, Chandler’s Ford, and the war that shook the world 100 years ago.
You can read more stories on Chandler’s Ford War Memorial and related posts in Chandler’s Ford Today:
Post Series: Chandler’s Ford War Memorial Research, by Margaret Doores: