In the village of Enham in Hampshire there’s a remarkable wooden statue on the edge of the village green by the roadside, depicting an injured WWI solider. The statue was carved from a fallen tree stump, and was unveiled in 2014 by Falklands war veteran Simon Weston to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the start of the first world war, and to mark the unique role the village played in re-rehabilitating injured ex-servicemen.
With the huge number of injured servicemen returning from the front, the government needed an innovative solution to help which those that had been disabled, and in 1918 the village of Enham was chosen as the first ‘village centre for the care and rehabilitation of disabled ex-servicemen’. By the end of 1918, 150 ‘settlers’ had arrived and central to the care given to these men was the choice to live in the village alone or to bring their families with them to start a new life. These men were given the chance to learn new skills and regain their independence.
What a wonderful tribute to such a worthy undertaking. I wonder how many people drive past it and don’t even notice.