28th Jun, 2022

Memorial stone unveiled remembering St John's volunteers that lost their lives during the Blitz

Ryan Smith 22nd Apr, 2022

A TOUCHING ceremony was held to unveil a memorial stone commemorating the nine St John volunteers who lost their lives during the Blitz Air Raids.

The event was organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire St John Priory Group and the Mass Grave Memorial stone was unveiled on April 9 by The Duke of Gloucester, who is Grand Prior of the Order of St John.

The relatives of the deceased were at the ceremony and laid wreaths at the memorial.

Around 40 St John volunteers also attended, as well as Mick Messinger, St John’s Chancellor in England and the Islands, and Chief Commissioner, Ann Cable.

The Duke met with the volunteers and the family members after the service.

The memorial stone pays tribute to Gavin Currie, Frederick Gatford, David Harrison, Alexander McArthur, Alfred Parsons, Ruth Prangnell, Wilfred Charles Skinner, Wilfred Gilbert Skinner and Charles Woodhouse who all lost their lives in the Blitz between 1940 and 1941.

Priory Group member Geraldine Saunders identified and researched the names and a special commemorative booklet – detailing each person – was created for the service.

Chair of the Warwickshire and Coventry St John Priory Group, Bob Carruthers, said: “We are very grateful to His Royal Highness for attending this weekend’s ceremony and helping us to commemorate the nine local St John members who lost their lives in the Coventry Blitz.

“It is fitting they are remembered for the work that they carried out helping other local people as members of St John.

“We were also delighted to welcome a number of their family members and we hope they found the occasion one of reflection where the sacrifice of their relatives could properly be remembered.”

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