RESIDENTS in one of the few villages in Dorset without a war memorial have created their own remembrance memorials ahead of the Armistice Centenary.

As a tribute to the 20 men from Milborne St Andrew who died in the First World War and the one village man who died in the Second World War, 21 large poppies have been placed along the roadside in the village.

The poppies, in Lane End, are the work of Milborne Sports and Social Club.

Its chairman Richard Lock said: "What we are trying to do at the sports club is a gesture.

"The village football club was formed in 1912 so a vast majority of the young men of fighting age at the time of 1914 would have played or supported their local team.

"We have placed 21 large sized poppies along the roadside, which is just behind one of the goalposts of the main pitch so not only are the men are still playing the game, defending (or attacking) the goal but are looking out over the village they went off to defend.

"It will be a particularly poignant reminder to all those passing by or attending the sports club."

Richard said the village has one of the best pitches in the Dorset FA and villagers are proud of it and its history.

He said: "We host some very good teams who use us as their home venue, Milborne U14s, Corfe Mullen, Poole Town U18’s, Bankes Charity FA Cup Finals and Poole Town Ladies who play in the Ladies SW Premier League we had Watford and Crystal Palace ladies team recently and will be playing against Cheltenham ladies this Sunday."

By coincidence the granddaughter of Milborne St Andrew war hero James Huntley Knight VC recently visited the village.

Richard said: "Rosemary Rolls nee Knight was at a recent Poole Town U18s match in support of her grandson.

"Her grandfather James Huntley Knight VC lived next door to the post office in Milborne St Andrew and was a great friend of Lawrence of Arabia and a supporter of Milborne football team."

In the picture you can see to the right, James Huntley Knight VC is pictured at a Remembrance Day service in 1950. He is the man in a long light coat just to the left of the man in the front.

James was awarded the VC at the age of 21 during the Boer War and it was the last Victoria Cross awarded during the reign of Queen Victoria.

His great friend, Lawrence of Arabia would visit him at his home in the Old School House next to the Post Office and the Brough motorbike was a regular feature in the Square during the 1930s. His home also doubled as the doctor's visiting surgery and his front room as the waiting room.

As a young boy, James went to school at Home Farm Longfield, situated on the Jubilee Trail just outside Milborne (it was then the Dorset Juvenile Reformatory (Borstal) school. He later returned to Milborne in 1914, was wounded on the Somme in June 1916 and was discharged from the Army. He was fully involved in the community and would give his shirt to anyone in need and was a great supporter of the Milborne football team. There is a memorial to him in the village church yard.

Some of the children on the right will still be alive today. Carrying the RBL Flag is Charley Mowbry and others in the photo include Dixie Dean, Daisey Cooper, Eddie Higgins and Cyril Trowbridge.

A wall of commemoration and remembrance has also been constructed along a fence next to Milborne St Andrew Village Hall in The Causeway.

Linda and Pete Wright of the local history group organised the stunning display, which includes mementoes and murals pinned to the fence. People have been asked to put whatever they would like to place on the fence.

The remembrance wall is just a few yards away from Milborne St Andrew's place of remembrance - a millennium stone.

Villagers are also planning to plant a special centenary tree for the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. The tree is an oak from a Royal forest which was given to Richard by the Centenary Fields Trust.