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Yorkley Presentation to Pte. Ronald Beddis

An old photo of a presentation to a Yorkley serviceman

Back:1 Lizzie Williams, 2 Ralph James 3 ?,4 Mrs Wintle,5 Mrs Sam Davis.
Middle: 1 Arthur Barnfield, 2 Ted Fowler, 3 Mrs Hawkins, 4 Mrs Marsh, 5 Mrs Turley, 6 Mrs Pinchen, 7 Mrs Fowler.
Sitting: 1, 2 Mr Shem Beddis, 3 F. W. Harvey, 4 Pte. Ronald Beddis, 5 Mrs Minnie Willetts, 6 Mr Cooper.

Thanks also to Harold Davis.

The Forest of Dean poet, F. W. Harvey, a prominent member of the local community is in the front row.

Steve Cooper, chair of the F. W. Harvey Society kindly supplied the following press cutting:

"A Variety concert given by all local artistes was held at the Onward Hall, Yorkley, on Saturday on the occasion of the presentation to Pte., Ronald Beddis, an ex prisoner of war in Korea".

"Mr S. H. Yeatman acting as chairman in place of Mr Davis, of Lydney said that the packed hall was evidence of the warmth of the welcome".

"The artistes taking part were Messrs, Eddie Lambert (saw), Ron Morse (violin), S.H. Yeatman, A. Hook and Dorothy Smith and Don Adams (solos), Miss Margaret Beddis (musical comedy), Mr Gordon English (cowboy songs), accompanying himself on a guitar, Mr A. Higgins (monologues), Mr J. Jones (whistling), Miss Elaine Evans (accordionist), Mr Eddie Newport (Piano), Mr F Barnes (monologue) and Mr Eddy Ruck of Whitecroft (comedian)".

" Mr F. W. Harvey made the presentation to Ronald. Mr Havey, who himself was a prisoner-of-war in Germany during the 1914-1918 war spoke of the hardships suffered by prisoners and said that the loss of personal freedom was the hardest to bear".

"The presentation took the form of a gold watch, suitably inscribed, and a cheque for £20. All the money was from donations and the proceeds of a harvest sale held at the Bailey Inn for the purpose. Pte. Beddis thanked Mr Harvey, the committee and everyone who subscribed towards his gifts, with special thanks to those who helped his mother whilst he was away".

The F. W. Harvey Society is currently collecting for a memorial stained-glass window to commemorate the Forest Poet F. W. Harvey to be placed in Minsterworth church. Although in later years Mr Harvey lived in Yorkley, Minsterworth is where he grew up and where he is buried.

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