Tribute to the Martyrs

An emotional moment in the Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival is always the traditional wreath laying ceremony. Guests lay wreaths on the grave of James Hammett, the only Tolpuddle Martyr to return to the village. Members of the Hammett family pay their respects.

When James Hammett was buried in the graveyard of St John's Parish Church, it was said that speaches were banned. "We want no union talk over the grave", was apparently ordered.

labour women wreath laying Tony Benn

The headstone was designed by the great type face designer and sculpture, Eric Gill in 1934.

   Wreath laying in 2011