Henry Webber Memorial Service

A Memorial Service was held in the Memorial Gardens, Horley Recreation Ground on Thursday 21 July 2016 to commemorate the centenary of the death of Henry Webber, who died in active service on 21 July 1916 on the battlefields of France during World War One, aged 67 years, the oldest soldier to be killed on active service.

The service was conducted by Rev John Glasspool, Chaplain of the Royal British Legion, Horley Branch.  The Memorial Service included the unveiling of a lectern, detailing Henry’s life story.

The service was well attended and included three generations of Henry Webber’s family, some of whom had only met each other for the first time the previous week.  Henry’s grandchildren and their families travelled from as far as Australia to attend the service.  The Horley community was well represented including, pupils from Horley Infant School, Meath Green Junior School, members of the Horley Churches inc St Barts, Surrey County Council, Royal British Legion and Town Councillors.  David Hall, a local historian, presented a family tree to Henry Webber’s great great great grandson, Jamie Alpine. 

At the Service, the Royal British Legion Horley Branch provided a standard bearer supported by two buglers from the Redhill Corps of Drums.  During the service poems were read, including one written and read by Meath Green Junior School.

Town Mayor Cllr Mike George said “The Council has long been aware of the significant anniversary of the centenary of the death of Henry Webber.  He was the very first Parish Council Chairman as well as a guiding force in many other local organisations and largely responsible for the development of Horley in its formative years at the end of the 19th century.  It is a very great honour to commemorate his life with the lectern and we hope that many younger people will come to read it.  The Town Council is very pleased to have been able to welcome so many of the Webber family to Horley.”

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