A group of about thirty people took part in a most interesting and informative walk round the St. Marks’ Churchyard, which was led by Geraldine Beech and Pauline Shirley.
The churchyard dating back to 1839 currently comprises approximately 1,700 graves and some fifteen were considered during the walk. These ranged from LAC Fred Miller of the Royal Air Force who died in an air accident in Somerset during the summer of 1926, aged only 23, to John Poultney, the donor of the church itself and the churchyard. Among other graves of interest included those of the Fullerton sisters, Georgiana and Helen, who were suffragettes and consequently strong supporters of women’s rights.
The grave of Gilbert Smith was identified. Not only was he a great footballer, ‘the David Beckham of his day,’ but also an international cricketer and presumably much admired. Lady Nora Brand, first Treasurer of the Women’s Institute is buried in the churchyard. Her memorial is the W.I. Hall built in her honour by the Pennington W.I.
The War Memorial is unusual in that it is located in the churchyard, rather than a public area. It records the names of those who died in both World War1 and World War 2. Moving to the Lych Gate, this dates from 1927 and is a memorial to Fanny Crick, wife of the Rev. A.C. Crick vicar of Pennington at that time.
At the end of the tour the leaders were warmly thanked by the participants.