Memorials unveiled in moving ceremonies at Stoke Rochford

Mrs Rosemary McCorquodale and Neil McCorquodale uveil a memorial to Lieut Randolph Turnor
Mrs Rosemary McCorquodale and Neil McCorquodale uveil a memorial to Lieut Randolph Turnor
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Two poignant military ceremonies took place at Stoke Rochford on Sunday.

The centenary of the death of Lieutenant Christopher Randolph Turnor at the Battle of Ypres was marked with the unveiling of a memorial stone in the grounds of Stoke Rochford Hall.

And a new memorial was dedicated to members of the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment in the parish church of St Andrew and St Mary.

Stoke Rochford Hall, now a hotel and conference centre, is the birthplace of Lieut Turnor and later, during World War Two, was Battalion HQ for the 2nd Parachute Battalion.

It was in the library of the hall that the Battalion planned its part in the Battle of Arnhem, one of the major engagements of the war in Europe 70 years ago.

The tribute to Lieut Turnor was dedicated by parish priest the Rev Eric Lomax and unveiled by Mrs Rosemary McCorquodale (nee Turnor), the last member of the Turnor family and mother of Neil McCorquodale, the estate’s present owner.

Being an early casualty of Ypres, Lt Turnor, of the 10th Hussars, is buried in a small churchyard in Zandvoode and the memorial stone has been sourced from the estate to provide a lasting tribute to a brave soldier by his family.

The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Royal Hussars, The Royal British Legion, Army Benevolent Fund, mayor of Grantham Coun Ian Selby and piper Piper Bill James. Army Cadets have prepared a garden in front of the memorial.

The new 2nd Battalion memorial was unveiled by General Sir Geoffrey Howlett during a service led by the Rev David Cooper, chaplain of the Parachute 2 Club, which holds its annual meeting, dinner and memorial service at Stoke Rochford at this time each year.

The new memorial is dedicated to those who lost their lives in campaign service since 1945 and is alongside several others in St Andrew and St Mary parish church, which is regarded as the spiritual home of 2 Para.

Coun Selby said of both ceremonies: “It was a very poignant and most emotional occasion. I felt honoured to be present at this meaningful occasion”.