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Ryfields new memorial stone unveiled on D-Day

On Thursday 6th June 2019 (D-Day) at 2.15pm, the Ryfields Veterans’ Group unveiled a new memorial garden and memorial stone in the grounds at Ryfields community living village.

The Memorial Garden will be open to residents of Ryfields retirement village and the local community, providing a place for veterans and families who can no longer attend the Cenotaph in Warrington due to disability and lack of mobility.

The Ryfields Veterans Group raised funds for the memorial through various activities including a raffle and a race night for residents, with the rest of the funds donated by YHG.

The event was attended by Councillor Wendy Johnson, the Mayor of Warrington; Dawn Williams, representatives from the British Legion and the Salvation Army, and staff and pupils from Oakwood Avenue primary school. Plus veterans from the community along with residents from Ryfields and their families.

Eric Hulmes from the Veterans Group at Ryfields, said:

“The Veteran community is a vitally important one, and is particularly large around Warrington as a former barracks town. There is a large veteran community at Ryfields, and many of us are not as mobile as we used to be so getting to the Cenotaph in town can be difficult. We wanted to make sure that every member of the veteran community had access to a place where they could go to remember friends and loved ones, and now we have that. We are incredible proud of what we have achieved in such a short time, and a big thank you to Your Housing Group in supporting us and giving us the rest of the funding that we needed.”

The Veterans group at Ryfields was established in October 2018 by Eric Hulmes, Stuart Bright and James Wood. Eric is a former Signals, Stuart is a former Royal Artillery and 5/8 Kings, and Jimmy was a member of the Border Regiment.

Brian Cronin, said:

“Your Housing Group is proud to support the veterans group at Ryfields community living village. It is important that we are able to commemorate and honour those that served in our armed forces. We hope that residents and the whole community are able to enjoy the garden and visit the memorial stone."

Joe Donohue, who turned 100 in January this year was in the artillery and part of the second wave that landed on the beaches of Normandy on the 6th June 1944. He was also part of operation market garden in Holland (movie A Bridge Too Far).