Clare Pawley, of Stokenham, writes:

I would like to congratulate all those involved in the Hallsands centenary commemoration for creating a fitting tribute to their forebears.

The opening of the village on a day when the sea was calm enough not to endanger the ­visitors, yet rough enough for the waves to be beating against the rocks on which the houses of Hallsands village originally stood, helped us to imagine the terror of the final destruction of the village in the 1917 storm.

After the unveiling of a plaque by the lord lieutenant of Devon, David Fursden, many made the walk over the cliff path to Beesands.

The evening saw an extraordinarily moving service in Stokenham Parish Church conducted by Father Michael Berrett, with readings from contemporary accounts of the 1917 storm and its aftermath, as well as poetry, prose, prayers, hymns and the reading of the names of the fishermen who have since been lost in Start Bay.

Those who attended will cherish the beautifully ­produced Order of Service.

The exhibition in St Andrew’s Church in Beesands combines the history of the village, the story of the dredging and its effect on the beach level, and the inadequate compensation offered to the villagers whose livelihoods had been taken

even before the destruction of Hallsands.

It shows the battle taken by MP for Totnes Frank Mildmay to Parliament and the attempts by Hansford Worth to get a sea wall built and financial ­compensation for the villagers.

Most of all, however, was the picture of a community ­committed to cooperating to overcome the hardships of their lives and the uncertainties of their living made from the sea. There was also Louise Scammel’s beautiful series of prints, evoking the lives of those who still fish in the ­uncertain waters of Start Bay.

The feeling I was left with was of a genuine person-to-­person connection of memories and continuity as the families met again to remember and honour their relatives who lived through these terrible events, but also the resilience of those families who picked up their lives as best they could.

We cannot know what will happen to the other villages in Start Bay in the next 100 years.