A SERVICE has taken place to mark the centenary of a Hampshire war memorial designed by the "real" Alice in Wonderland.

The ceremony at Bolton's Bench, Lyndhurst, was attended by representatives from the parish council and the local branch of the Royal British Legion.

Wreaths were laid at the base of the memorial and a variation of the original dedication was read out.

Lyndhurst was where members of the "Immortal 7th” Division camped during the First World War before being sent to Ypres, which saw some of the fiercest fighting of the conflict.

The memorial is on the site of an outdoor mass held for the soldiers and also marks the spot where they gathered prior to their departure.

Most of the money for the memorial was donated by Alice Hargreaves, nee Liddell, who also designed the structure.

Alice was a ten-year-old living in Oxford when she asked author Lewis Carroll to entertain her with a story, which eventually evolved into Alice in Wonderland.

After marrying Reginald Hargreaves at Westminster Abbey in 1880 she and her new husband moved to Lyndhurst, where they lived in a country mansion called Cuffnells.

Alice died aged 82 in 1934 while staying near her sister's home in Kent. Her ashes are buried in the graveyard at St Michael and All Angels Church in Lyndhurst.

Cuffnells became a hotel before being requisitioned during the Second World War and used by a searchlight battalion. The house demolished in the early 1950s.

Alice and her husband had three sons, two of whom were killed in action during the First World War.

The memorial was unveiled in April 1921 by Major General Sir Henry Bushman, who said: "In proud and loving memory of the men from this parish who fell in the Great War, I unveil this cross."

Brigadier General Sir Percy Sykes read out the names of the 68 men commemorated on the memorial.

A photograph of the ceremony is among the items held at the Christopher Tower Reference Library in the New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst.

Plans for a public ceremony duplicating the original event had to be dropped because of Covid restrictions.