Remembrance in Royston
This year Armistice Day falls on Remembrance Sunday, the 11th November 2018. It will be one hundred years to the day since the guns fell silent on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1918, bringing the First World War to an end. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars.
This year to commemorate this anniversary I have collaborated with the Royston based group, “What Royston Did” to bring their project to the town’s war memorial in the form of display panels which will flank the newly restored tablets on the War Memorial. The panels will include pictures and information about each of those named on the memorial; this will include those from not only the First World War but also those from the Second World War, and will enable those who visit the memorial to learn a little more about those who died in the two World Wars, for whom Royston was home.
The symbol of Remembrance, the Poppy, originates from the battlefields of the First World War; as was written in the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae;
“In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses row on row”
We wear the poppy now to remember all those who have died in war, from the First and Second WorldWars, through all of the post war conflicts, right up to the present day. We must always remember those who gave their lives for the freedom and liberty we enjoy today.
This year preceding the main service in Royston there will be a service at the memorial to the 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) of the Eighth United States Army Air Force in the Priory Memorial Gardens. This Group were based at RAF Bassingbourn during World War II, from Oct 1942 through to June 1945. By the time the Second World War came to an end the 91st BG has suffered the highest casualty rates of any Group in the Eighth USAAF; 920 men lost their lives, 123 were missing in action and 959 were captured. We will remember their courage and sacrifice :
Never Forgotten – Forever Honoured
So as we gather on Sunday 11th November to remember all those who have given their lives in war, let us also remember those veterans and their families among us today whose lives have been forever changed by their service. We remember the dead but don’t forget the living.
Lest We Forget
Service at the 91st BG(H) Memorial, 9am
Main Remembrance Parade and Service
Parade leaves Queens Road, 10.25am
Service at the War Memorial, 10.45am
Anyone wishing to join the parade and march is welcome. Please be at the junction of Queens Road and Clarke Road by 10am. All are welcome, especially serving and ex-service members of the community. Royston War Memorial display will run from the 5th to the 11th November.
To mark this special day, our commemoration will have a particular focus on remembering the soldiers from this village killed in action during WWI and the Armistice declared 100yrs ago. The fallen in WWII and conflicts since 1945 will also be commemorated.
Bassingbourn Ringers will start the commemoration at 10am with a 30 min ring of the half-muffled Parish Church tower bells. Parish Councillors, students from the Village College, Primary School, Air Training Corps, the Brownies and Royal British Legion will be represented and all will gather at the War Memorial.
The Act of Remembrance led by Revd Dr Caroline Yandell will commence at 10.45am accompanied by a solemn tolling of a single half-muffled tower bell. The service will address the ravages of the war and the human tragedy of so many lost lives. The names of the 42 soldiers from the village who fell during World War I will be read out as children of the Primary School lay poppy crosses against the War Memorial wall. As the 11th Hour approaches The Exhortation will be declared for us all – We will remember them.
At the first stroke of 11o’clock, General Salute and Last Post bugle call will signal The two Minutes Silence. The service at the War Memorial will close with a special remembrance prayer. A traditional Remembrance Service will then follow in the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul.
At the close of the Service the Village Band will perform a medley of WWI Songs which were very popular in 1914/18 and which have remained so for many of us since.
After the church service, a peal of the Church tower bells will ring out un-muffled in celebration to mark and reflect the joy that echoed around the whole world 100 years ago on 11th November 1918.
Centenary Armistice Commemoration Event
Bassingbourn War Memorial and at the Parish Church
Sunday 11th November,10am
The Royal British Legion The Mordens Branch is holding ceremonies for Remembrance Sunday.
8.45am – 355th Fighter Group/RAF Memorial
9.30am- Odsey Memorial SG7 5RR
10am- Steeple Morden Memorial
10.45 Assemble at Guilden Morden Memorial, St Marys Church Church St, SG8 0JD
11am- Minute silence followed by Remembrance Service in the church
Everyone in the community is very welcome to the ceremonies.