Langley historian able to honour grandfather at British poppy memorial

Langley historian and author Warren Sommer helped honour his late grandfather, Private James Hodge, at the Tower of London this past summer.

The Tower has been transformed with a memorial installation called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, commemorates the 888,246 servicemen and women from throughout the Commonwealth killed during the Great War of 1914 to 1918.

Each of these 888,246 Commonwealth dead has been honoured with a ceramic poppy installed for three months in the moat at the Tower, Sommer said.

He was able to visit the site during a summer visit to England.

A few were further honoured by being included on a Roll of Honour, allowing for their names to be read out one evening during the course of the installation.

People could submit names for the Roll of Honour.

“I nominated my grandfather, who was killed in action on his first day in the trenches,” Sommer explained. “Quite miraculously, my nomination was successful.  Private James Hodges’s name was the 110th of 180 read out on Oct. 21 by a yeoman warder in a ceremony that was followed by the sounding of the Last Post.

A friend from Yorkshire who is also a great-nephew of Langley soldier George Henry Topham, was among the thousands in attendance. Topham was killed in action in 1918.

“The nightly ceremonies are being put online, so that relatives can see and hear the commemoration,” Sommer added.

The ceramic poppies were sold as part of this installation and the proceeds are going to benefit veterans.

“I was fortunate to get my order in before they were all gone, and will be receiving one of the poppies after the installation is dismantled following Remembrance Day,” he said “While my wife and I were in London in August we were able to visit the installation, which was a humbling, unforgettable experience.”

Just Posted

Tardi earns first victory in quest for third national title

A Langley-based junior curling team is in Prince Albert, Sask. for the Canadian championships.

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Langley-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

LETTER: Langley/Surrey shortchanged on transit for Vancouver

Funding to get SkyTrain to Langley City could come from not undergrounding Vancouver’s extension.

LETTER: Area letter writer puts Trump government shutdown in perspective

A Maple Ridge letter writer is critical of Hillary Clinton’s comments about the shutdown.

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read