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Gathering of people at a tree planting ceremony. Tree trunks in foreground.

Commemorative tree planting

Group of people standing in semi circle. Trees and union flag in background

The lives of five servicemen from Farnham who died over 100 years ago in World War 1 have been commemorated with the planting of cherry trees at the Memorial Hall on Crosby Way, Farnham.

The servicemen were all employees at Farnham United Breweries and died serving their country during the war which lasted from 1914 to 1918.

The ceremony was the idea of Councillor George Hesse who felt inspired to revive the memory of the five employees of Farnham United Breweries in whose memory the Memorial Hall was built and which is now coming up to its 100th year.

The Mayor of Farnham, Councillor Pat Evans, assisted with planting the trees at a ceremony outside the Memorial Hall on Tuesday 11 February. She was joined by the Mayor of Waverley, Reverend Uffindell, representatives of the armed forces, the Royal British legion, the Scouting movement, local residents and family members of the five who died.

The Mayor said: “We continue to remember those who lost their lives protecting our freedom because it reminds us of the sacrifices that others have made – and continue to make – for us to live the way that we do today. These five men were ordinary people doing ordinary jobs in Farnham but, when asked, made an extraordinary sacrifice that most of us can hardly imagine in order to protect their town and country.”

The trees join a commemorative plaque, also at the Memorial Hall, which was laid in memory of the five servicemen who died: G Ayres, CT Hawkins, M Glazier, F Mansey and JBP Wallace.

The five trees are all Japanese flowering cherry trees, recognisable during late spring for their stunning shell pink blossom.

Farnham United Breweries was founded in 1860 and operated until it was acquired by Courage and Co Limited in 1927. Brewing continued for another year but malting only ceased decades later in 1956.

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