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Hedon Commemoration of the Fallen

Commemoration ServiceTHE NAMES of 21 local people who died in conflict in The Great War were read out by Major (Retired) John Groome in a moving service at Hedon war memorial this evening.

The tolling bells of St Augustine’s Church had announced the service to the town’s residents and the dignified service took place under its watching tower.

The Mayor Councillor John Dennis introduced the service referring incredulously to “The Great War, ‘the war to end war’, which became the First World War – because it happened again!”

The Ode of Remembrance, prayers and a blessing were administered by the Rev. Gordon Smethurst. Peter Ainscough from Churches Together also gave a poignant reading. Two peace roses had been planted in front of the cenotaph and a lady from the British Legion (Women’s Section) ceremonially finished of the planting operation with a sprinkling of fresh earth. Meanwhile an indistinct humming began to arise from the assembled crowd which grew in volume until eventually those involved in the planting ceremony also took up the hushed refrain of “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”.

The Rev. Smethurst captured the spirit of the gathered people by finishing off the service to two choruses of “Pack Up Your Troubles”.

Organised at relatively short notice the service more than achieved its aims of bringing people together to honour and remember the fallen.
Gathering at the cemetery

2 replies »

  1. We attended this event yesterday along with our 4 year old grandson whose great great grandfather served and thankfully survived the ‘great war’. We explained to our grandson in simple terms why we were there and that when the grown ups were quiet he must be too and I think most people there were quite unware of his presence. He was interested in what was happening and had some question which he whispered to us during the course of the ceremony. It was pleasing to see the young boys mentioned above taking an interest and asking questions of those around them too. A short, simple ceremony of remembrance and thanks.

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  2. It was really wonderful to see so many people at this unique service at our War Memorial, Ray, including, very pleasingly, 4 or 5 young lads, aged about 12.
    I hope that they in particular took away some thought provoking memories of a truly moving service.
    My thanks go to Major John Groome for his most dignified reading of the Roll of Honour, to Peter Ainscough for his bible reading and especially to Mrs Gladys Lewis, the local President of the British Legion for joining with me in the planting the Peace roses. She agrees with me that they will be a fitting tribute to the young men of our town who gave their lives for their King and Country.
    I was also very pleased to see such a good turnout from the local branch of the British Legion
    And, of course, particular thanks go to the Rev Gordon Smethurst, this year’s Mayor’s Chaplain for conducting the service in this most peaceful location, and on such a perfect, sunny afternoon.
    The collection raised a very impressive £168.55 which I will donate to the Help for Heroes charity. Thank you all for your contributions. If anyone else wishes to donate, please let me know. I would like to pay the money over by the weekend, so you can pop into my office if you would like to increase the amount collected.
    Finally, thanks to all those who joined in the singing of It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, and Pack up your Troubles in Your Old Kitbag. That provided a very uplifting end to a memorable service.
    John Dennis
    668th Mayor of Hedon

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