Saturday 10th November 2018 at 11.00 am, Liz Townsend, Parish Chairman made a welcome address before handing over to Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey, Robert Napier, who made a personal speech to a crowd of some 400.
This was followed by blessings from The Reverends Ian Maslin, Keith Beckingham, David Burt, Roy Woodhams and Father David Osborne. The Last Post was played by Cranleigh Schoolboy Jacopo Bounous and award-winner Emily Wickenden from Glebelands recited Vera Brittain's "Perhaps"- a line of which is carved into one of the benches.
Finally WW2 veteran and SOE operative John Sharp cut the ribbon declaring the garden open.
On the Friday before there was a school peace march that ended up at the Centenary Garden where Garden producer Cllr Brian Freeston dedicated the garden to the younger members of the community, for their safe-keeping and hopefully in turn they can pass it on to their children, to help them tell the story of what their ancestors went through.
One of many poems concerning our local experience of conflict, written and read out by Cranleigh pupils.
On Sunday evening the garden was floodlit and the scouts and guides gathered to hear some poetry. The once-in-a-lifetime event attracted a similar sized crowd as the day before.
And some more poems from the younger members of our community.
Perhaps, by Vera Brittain
(Dedicated to her fiancé Roland Aubrey Leighton, who was killed at the age of 20 by a sniper in 1915, four months after she had accepted his marriage proposal)
Perhaps some day the sun will shine again,
And I shall see that still the skies are blue,
And feel once more I do not live in vain,
Although bereft of You.
Perhaps the golden meadows at my feet
Will make the sunny hours of spring seem gay,
And I shall find the white May-blossoms sweet,
Though You have passed away.
Perhaps the summer woods will shimmer bright,
And crimson roses once again be fair,
And autumn harvest fields a rich delight,
You are not there.
Perhaps some day I shall not shrink in pain
To see the passing of the dying year,
And listen to Christmas songs again,
Although You cannot hear.
But though kind Time may many joys renew,
There is one greatest joy I shall not know
Again, because my heart for loss of You
Was broken, long ago.