Tuesday 14th November 2023 - All About Remembrance Sunday and On a Personal Note
A first for us on Sunday, we attended the Remembrance Sunday service at St Martins Church. This was a combined service with the Methodist Church and led by Tim Bennett, with readings and recollections read by other members of the community. There were also slides shown of the men and boys who lost their lives in both World Wars and if no photos of them were available, an appropriate image shown instead. The slides really brought home just how many died during World War 1 in this area, which at the time encompassed Suffield Park. The shocking part is, many were only boys in their teens. We were all given, to take home, a copy of the pocket-sized booklet of the Gospel According to St John, a reproduction of the one given to servicemen in World War 1, and a leaflet with a Prayer for Remembrance. During the final hymn, those placing wreaths left the church and by the time the rest of the congregation had joined them outside, the wreaths were all in place on the War Memorial, joining the crosses already placed in memory of lost ones. A lot of organisation and work went into the service, in particular, by Tim Bennett, with Martin Dennis placing crosses on the graves of servicemen. After the service there were refreshments served in the church – a nice touch to round the morning off.
On a personal note, I placed a cross at the War Memorial on Armistice Day in memory of two my Great Uncles, Frank and William, killed in 1916 and 1918. My Dad always made sure they weren’t forgotten and since he passed away, I have continued on his behalf. When we were clearing my parent’s home, in 2020, we found a box containing items belonging to my Gran (my Dad’s Mother). In it was a letter, written in France, from her brother Frank to his father. In places, the letter was direct but other paragraphs were, as they say, easy to read between the lines. A few weeks later, on 16th December 1916 and just before Christmas, Frank was killed. Since then, I have found where he is buried in France. William was killed in France on 24th October 1918. I remember my Dad telling me how upset his Grandmother was, particularly as this was just a couple of weeks before the end of the war. I have seen William’s name is on a war memorial in France, but I have been unable to find a record of a grave, maybe and sadly, he never had one.
Today’s photo was taken after the service on Sunday, of the War Memorial at St Martin’s church displaying the wreaths and crosses.