September 2018
ROYAL AIR FORCE KEEVIL Annual Service of Remembrance at Stocks Green Memorial Plaque: Saturday 15th* September at 12 noon

[*not 16th as advertised in the Parish Magazine]

RAF Keevil Remembrance-2570
RAF Keevil Remembrance 2017, with the Cycling Sappers

Keevil’s Curate Jane Palmer will lead the short service at the memorial plaque at Stocks Tree.

This short service has its origins in the 50th Anniversary of D Day and the Arnhem Operation. This was a remarkable village event with Airmen, Ground Crew, Glider Pilots and Airborne Infantry arriving from all over the world. The weekend of activities was drawn to a conclusion with the dedication of a Memorial Plaque at Stocks Tree, unveiled by the ex-Glider Pilot Bill Higgs. Since then a service has been held every year and continues to be a part of Keevil village life. It is important that the village continues this simple service for what it represents.

The RAF Keevil service is usually supported by the Royal Engineers ‘Sappers to Arnhem’ Cycling Sappers,  comprising both serving and ex Royal Engineers, who cycle to Keevil as part of their continued fund raising on behalf of the Help for Heroes appeal. Gerry Taggart and his fellow Sapper cyclists will again be present this year. We appeal to both Keevil and Steeple Ashton for as much support as possible for this short event, which again is dedicated to Alan Thomsett’s memory, for it was he who was central in organising these acts of remembrance for so many years.

71st Double Hills Memorial Service: 2pm Sunday 2nd September 2018

Preceding the Keevil remembrance is the 71st Double Hills Memorial Service. David Bodman lays the Keevil wreath.

This annual memorial service remembers the 21 Sappers from the 9th Field Company (Airborne) Royal Engineers and 2 pilots from the Glider Pilots Regiment, who lost their lives on Sunday morning 17th September 1944, when their Horsa Glider RJ113 crashed into a meadow called Double Hills, in the village of Paulton, Somerset. These were the first casualties of the Battle of Arnhem – Operation Market Garden. They had earlier taken off with their tug aircraft, a Stirling bomber, from RAF Keevil.

They did not die in battles din,
Of worlds renown,
Or medals win,
But gave their lives for you and me,
So that we and the whole world might be free.

Ruby Bowell – A Paulton nurse who, in 1944, attended the scene of the Double Hills disaster

Ringing for Peace logoOn 11 November 2018, to mark the final year of the First World War centenary commemorations, and 100 years since Armistice, bells will ring out in unison from churches and cathedrals in villages, towns and cities across the country. 1,400 new bell ringers will be recruited in honour of the 1,400 that lost their lives during the First World War.

Could you be one of the 1,400 new ringers? Tower bell ringing is still done in the same way as when it began in the 17th century and well within the capabilities of most people. It’s a team activity that is good mental exercise and helps to keep you fit – a fun hobby and a challenge that anyone can learn. There is no need to attend church services.

Read the government’s press release and background here

BE PART OF HISTORY: Come and learn to ring for this special occasion. Contact the St Leonard’s Keevil Tower Captain, Michael Moore on 870280 or

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY at the War Memorial and St Leonard’s

There is a short act of remembrance around the village war memorial, including a period of silence and the laying of wreaths. All are then invited to the church for an act of worship suitable for Remembrance Sunday. The service includes a retiring collection which is donated to the British Legion.

Assemble around the war memorial at 10.45 am for this important event in the life of the village.

The beautiful and clever poppy decorations in 2017 were made by the children of Keevil School.


George Dixon, 1st Wiltshire Regiment
Albert Wareham, 1st Wiltshire Regiment
Frank Bodman, 2nd Wiltshire Regiment
James Andrews, 4th Wiltshire Regiment
George Hicks, 4th Wiltshire Regiment
Jacob Bodman, Leading Seaman Royal Navy
Herbert Swanborough, Royal Navy
Frederick Clifford, Royal Garrison Artillery
Victor Clifford, Royal Garrison Artillery
Herbert Ludlow, Sergeant 1st Wiltshire Regiment
Edward Jeffries, Machine Gun Corp
Thomas Ludlow, Royal Army Service Corp
Edward Gilbert, Royal Berks Regiment
Stephen O’Leary, Wiltshire Training Reserves
Robert H Lane, Lance Corporal Worcester Regiment
Leonard Griffin, Somerset Light Infantry
Frederick C Wilmutt, 1st Hants Regiment
William C Gumm, Royal West Kent Regiment
M. Leonard Gingell, Royal Artillery
George E Perrett, Royal Pioneer Corp

‘At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them’
11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

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