The memorial statue I carved earlier this year to honour my Great Uncle Joe’s sacrifice was unveiled at Langney Primary School in Eastbourne, UK on November 10th. Joe was born in Eastbourne in 1897 and left for France in 1915, dying two years later on 3rd May 1917, aged 19. The statue is now owned by the Royal Sussex Regiment Trust and is on permanent loan to Langney Primary School in Eastbourne.
Since 2013, this school has been looking at individual soldiers born and bred in their community as way to introduce WWI to their students. Pte. Aukett is now one of those soldiers. He didn’t win a medal and he has no known grave, but he represents so many young men who went to war and didn’t return.
Prior to the unveiling the school had a Remembrance Service at the local church. It was a moving ceremony. The Last Post was beautifully played by one student on his bugle while two other students lowered the Royal Sussex Regiment Flags. Wreaths made by the children were also laid in the church and at the wonderful trench where the statue now resides.
I am grateful to the Royal Sussex Regiment Trust and Langney Primary School for their part in ensuring that not only Joe but other soldiers of the Royal Sussex Regiment will not be forgotten. By remembering those who have sacrificed their life for ours we help them to live on.
We will remember them.