Welcome to the Bratton Branch of The Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion is recognised as the national custodian of Remembrance.
Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November, is the day traditionally put aside to remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.
ROYAL BRITISH LEGION, BRATTON BRANCH, REMEMBRANCE DAY SUNDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2021 & REMEMBRANCE DAY THURSDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2021
Details will be announced later in 2021.
The Bratton Village War Memorial
The Bratton village War Memorial was donated by the owners of Bratton House, Mr & Mrs Diggle, and erected shortly after the end of WWI. It is believed that their son, who had served in the Great War, had returned safely and they donated the memorial as a 'thanksgiving' as can be seen in this photograph.
The Memorial had engraved on it the names of the 20 villagers who had died in that war by the time of its erection.
In 2002 the Bratton Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) arranged with the Parish Council for the Memorial to be cleaned by a local monumental mason.
Whilst checking the names on the memorial, the then Branch Secretary, Dick Bird, noticed that the commemorative panel in Bratton's St James' church included two names not recorded on the memorial, but were buried in the churchyard. Dick immediately set about investigating the discrepancy by checking with the Wiltshire record office and the War Graves Commission who confirmed that the 2 villagers: Charles Gatley and Albert Merrett were indeed recorded amongst the dead from the First World War having succumbed some years after the war to the effects of wounds or injuries sustained during the war. History doesn't tell us what the men died of but it could have been as a result of the effects of poison gas because there were many instances of this recorded at the time.
It was clear to the members of the Legion in Bratton that the names of Charles Gatley and Albert Merrett should be on the memorial and arrangements were made to have the stone engraved during the summer of 2004 as shown in this photograph.
The Parish Council supported this project wholeheartedly and paid for the work to be done. But why were the names missing in the first place? The explanation is simple. When the Memorial was erected both men were still alive and so their names were not included in the roll of honour. The commemorative headstones in St James' church were erected later by which time both men had died. So thanks to the eagle eye of the RBL Bratton Branch Secretary, both villagers' names now appear in their rightful place alongside their comrades from Bratton who gave their lives in the First World War.
As part of the exercise, it was also noted that here were no memorials in St James' or the Bratton Baptist churches recording the death of three men from Bratton who lost their lives in the Second World War. Both churches supported the erection of appropriate tablets, one in each church, and the first dedication service was held in the Bratton Baptist Church on the 31st October 2004. Two of the three villagers, Harry Robert Hallett and Vincent Longmead Hyatt are buried in St James' churchyard.
The third villager, Reginald Watts died in the Far East as a Japanese prisoner of war and is buried in the War Graves Commission Cemetery at Chungkai, Thailand.
The Memorial was recently refurbished & is now regularly maintained by Colin Tagg.