26 people met at Hound Tor for the Club’s annual remembrance walk to the memorial for the young men who died in a plane crash on Hameldown during WW2. The plane was heading for Plymouth on 21st March 1941, when it became disorientated in the fog and crashed into the hillside, killing 3 young men instantly and the fourth, Rob Wilson dying in hospital shortly afterwards. The memorial stone was commissioned by his mother in memory of all those brave young men.
There was a slight hiccup at the start of our walk today when we discovered that Hound Tor car park was closed to the public to accommodate a film crew. However, plenty of parking was found nearby, but not before some of our number had upset an occupant of one of the film caravans by moving a cone in order to turn around – he rapidly emerged to replace said cone, wearing slippers and a frown.
We made good progress and were at the top of Hameldown in plenty of time for 11am. There was another walking group there and various other spectators, so around 80 people paid their respects today to the fallen of the 2 world wars and the many conflicts since. A small radio allowed us to know the exact time from the Cenotaph in London, for the 2 minutes silence and the laying of wreaths. It was very moving, we are all so very grateful, as John Maxwell-Edmonds poetically said in 1918, When you go home, tell them of us and say: For your tomorrow, we gave our today’.
When the time was right we left this special place and walked along the ridge to Widecombe. Although it was blustery, it was not cold and we did not have the expected rain this day often brings – what a bonus! The views were spectacular and the colours of the trees in full autumnal glory were stunning. Good to be alive.
We had lunch in Widecombe, some going to a coffee shop for tea and cake. One member indulged in a very large brownie, apparently and another distributed home made goodies.
After lunch we had to climb the notorious Bonehill. Rumour has it if you can survive this you can survive anything the moor has to throw at you. After a short breather, on to the last stretch, heading across Holwell Lawn, where we had a group photo to demonstrate that we are all ‘young at heart’ and back to the cars for 2.45 with almost 9 miles under our belts.
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate or wine were taken at the Tin Pickle and Rhum within the Moorland Hotel at Haytor and home to our baths and beds on this very special Remembrance Sunday.