THE people of Whitchurch came together on Monday night for a special event to honour the 64 local men who lost their lives during the First World War.

About 150 people attended a service which was conducted by The Reverend John Beadle, from Whitchurch Methodist Church, outside Whitchurch Town Hall, in Newbury Street.

The 30-minute ceremony, which featured hymns and readings, was followed by a moving candlelit vigil in a mark of respect to those who lost their lives during the four-year conflict.

In addition, a flag at the Town Hall flew at half mast to commemorate the centenary of the start of the 1914-18 conflict.

Andrew Jordan, a Whitchurch Town councillor and Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Military Police, has been organising the commemoration event for the past six months.

He told The Gazette: “It had to be done outside as we had around 150 people turn up so it went really well. John Beadle is a former Air Force and Navy chaplain so he very kindly did the service for us.

“I think it is a very important day for Whit-church. We had 64 guys who didn’t come back from the war and our focus was on Whitchurch specifically, but we did ask people to remember those from other wards as well, and people serving in current conflicts like Afghanistan.

“It was a very moving service and it was very poignant and quite reflective.”

Councillor Roger Gardiner, Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, was among those who attended the service. He said: “It was a lovely, moving service, and it was totally different to any services we have had in Basingstoke.”