Commemorative Bench Dedication

A bench for a soldier at Griffin Mill

A 19 year old soldier who died in France just eleven days before the end of the First World War now has a lock-side memorial to his short life.

Commemorative bench

A commemorative bench sited at Griffin Mill Lock Thrupp was dedicated to the memory of Private Howard Richard Pegler on Sunday 3rd August 2014.

Howard Pegler was a born at Thrupp in Stroud in 1899. Just nineteen years later he found himself in France with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment taking part in one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history ‘The Great War’.

War time will

On the 22nd of October 1918 Private Pegler made out his will leaving all his worldly possessions to his mother Kate.
Howard’s regiment moved up to the front line as part of the South Midland Division, British 3rd Army to relieve the New Zealanders in the Battle of the Selle River.

During that battle he received wounds that led to his evacuation to the British Army Hospital at Terlincthun. It was there, in a clean bed, cared for by nurses away from the horror of the shelling, the machine guns and gas, that Howard died of his wounds on the 30th of October 1918.

A touching tale

Howard Pegler'a great nephew Mark Hyam is pictured far left relating this touching tale, along with some history of Howard's childhood, to four generations of the family at the lock-side on Sunday morning.

Royal British Legion Standard

Also present were three members of the Hardwick and District Royal British Legion. Vice Chairman & Standard Bearer Roger Smith is pictured flanked by David Newman of Bussage and Eddie Tucker of Stroud.

Cllr Mark Rees, Chair of Stroud District Council, addressed those present regarding the strong sense of community and history evident at this time.

Cotswold Canals Trust Chairman Jack Telling then formally dedicated the bench to Private Pegler's memory.

Click on the images to view larger versions.

Click on the logos below to find out more about the Royal British Legion and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.