A BENCH to mark the centenary of the First World War has been unveiled at a Whitchurch recreation ground.

Schoolchildren and residents gathered at Alliston Way’s recreation ground for the November 1 event where the specially-chosen bench with a design to commemorate those who served was revealed.

‘Hopes for the Future’ were also presented by children from Testbourne Community School and Whitchurch Church of England Primary School, which were attached to the seat serving as a lasting memorial.

Town mayor John Buckley said at the opening: “64 lost their lives from Whitchurch in World War One but thousands of others also gave service so that we may live in a free country.

“This seat is part of that remembrance, but it is also for hope.

“Our future generations are as, if not more, important. They, the children of today, shape the future for not just our Whitchurch, but for the country and the world.

“We invest in them so that peace may continue and all conflict eradicated.”

Among the hopes the children wanted world peace, to be free from suffering and poverty, for an end to ongoing conflicts such as Yemen and more.

Isla from Year 2 also added she hoped the world becomes “tidier and tidier” and classmate Beatrice, also in Year 2, said: “My hope for the future is that we can love one another even if we are different.”

In a further lead up to Remembrance Day, on Saturday, November 3, the Winchester Road allotments were renamed after Harry Gilbert, a Whitchurch soldier who survived the First World War and went on to plant trees along the road in 1919, which are still there.

Harry Gilbert’s grandson spoke at the renaming event about his grandfather.