Eric hated war, and my grandmother wrote that if his life had been spared, he would have worked for real peace, as his father had done, thoughi in vain. But he joined up from a sense of duty at the beginning of the war, and was in
The memorial was originally in the family graveyard in the wood just below St Giles’ Church. After my mother died in 1981, the local authority removed all the memorials, to save them from vandalism. Most were relocated in St Giles Church graveyard, but the aeroplane was held in a council depot, presumably because it was considered secular, and also possibly because he was actually buried in Poperinghe, Belgium. After several years it was somehow acquired by a stonemason, Lloyd of Bedwyn in Wiltshire, in a transaction the records of which no longer exist . When John Lloyd closed the business down last year, the contents of his yard including the aeroplane came on the market, and thanks to cousin Roderick Lubbock, we were alerted to the sale. Lindsay and I went down to Great Bedwyn on the day of the auction and I bid for it successfully. The London Borough of Bromley kindly agreed to give it space at their new sustainable environment education centre ('BEECHE') in what used to be the kitchen gardens of High Elms, where uncle Eric and I both lived, and after a few hiccups with the transport it reached its final resting place at his ancestral home. The staff at BEECHE, the officials at the London Borough of Bromley, and the Rector and the Parish Council of St Giles have been wonderfully supportive of the project since we first discussed it with them last autumn. The whole family values enormously our connection with High Elms, and we’re delighted that Eric’s memorial has returned to its rightful home, where it will be treasured by everyone who visits this sacred spot.
Kentish Times article on the return of the memorial: http://www.bromleytimes.co.uk/content/bromley/times/newnews/story.aspx?brand=BMLYTOnline&category=news&tBrand=bmlytonline&tCategory=znews&itemid=WeED20%20May%202010%2010:12:26:163