Families, visitors, locals, community groups, councillors, business owners and a host of people from all backgrounds joined ex-servicemen and servicewomen in Montgomery on November 11th for commemorative events on the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Russ Honeyman and Lesley Williams carried the national flags, with Sue Blower, Montgomery Town Crier and parade marshal, leading the procession from the Town Hall to St Nicholas’ Church. They were followed by ex-servicemen and servicewomen, bugler Millie Williams, Freemen of Montgomery, Trefoil Guild ladies, Brownies/Rainbows with standards/flags, Beavers/Cubs with standards/flags, Guides/Rangers with standards/flags. Also in the procession were Fire Service Officers, Councillors, the Town Clerk, the Deputy Mayor and Consort, the County Councillor, the Mayor and Consort, and the Sergeants at Mace. The flag bearers presented their standards to the Clergy who laid them either side of the altar which had been dressed with Remembrance poppies. The Service of Remembrance was led by Rev. Alexis Smith with readings from Lionel Weaver, Rev. Diane Stirling and Alan Rowlands.
The parade then processed from St Nicholas’ Church to the Town Memorial Garden, led and marshalled by the Town Crier. A minute’s silence was observed, followed by the laying of wreaths. The Town Council wreath was laid by Mayor Lionel Weaver; the British Legion men’s wreath by Johnnie Muir; British Legion women’s by Pat Weaver; Church’s by Trevor Morris; Chapel’s by Ted Edwards; Trefoil Guild’s by Jackie Morley; Fire Service’s by David Evans, the wreath for those affected by war, by Scott Smith; the Cubs’ wreath by Riley and the Guides’ wreath by Rosa. Chris Boundy laid an animal welfare wreath; the competition to colour the animals within the wreath having been won by Gethin Serjeant.
Millie Williams sounded The Last Post and the flags lowered for a minute’s silence, remembering those who had fallen in all conflicts. The silence was then broken by the bugler’s Reveille. The flags were raised and the names of the fallen from Montgomery were read out (WW1 by Johnnie Muir and WW2 by Trevor Morris). There followed a short service and prayers from Rev. Alexis Smith and Rev. Diane Stirling. The Exhortation for the Fallen was read by Johnnie Muir and the Kohima Epitaph by Chris Boundy. The Welsh and British National Anthems were sung by the assembled gathering who were in fine voice.
Consort to the Mayor, Pat Weaver, and Rev. Alexis Smith welcomed everyone back to the church for a warm drink.
At 12.30 the church bells were rung as part of the national campaign by the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers to recruit 1,400 new bell ringers across the UK, reflecting the number of bell ringers who lost their lives during the war.
In the evening a short service of remembrance was held at the recently renovated County War Memorial on Town Hill. Rev. Mary Turnock officiated and said a prayer which included Montgomery Show’s winning ‘Child’s Prayer for Returning Servicemen of WW1’, by Fabien Borie, aged 5:
Prize winning entry in poem competition at the Montgomery Show 2018 titled - “Armistice poem for returning servicemen”
My poem for Armistice Day
I am just a boy
I play with my soldier toys
I won't have to go to war
Or see what you saw
I will grow old one day
But this is what I say
You won't grow old like me
Or see what I see
We will never forget
I wish we could have met
Fabian Borrie, aged 5years
County Councillor Stephen Hayes laid a wreath for the fallen of the County of Montgomeryshire, followed by Montgomery Mayor Lionel Weaver’s wreath on behalf of the Town Council.
Millie Williams once again sounded the Last Post, which was followed by a minute’s silence, concluded by the Reveille. Mary Turnock ended the service with blessings to all.
Three cheers were awarded by those assembled to 12-year-old Millie Williams on her first Remembrance duty beautifully carried out, and in difficult conditions.
At 7pm a bonfire beacon was lit, one of 1,000 Beacons of Light across the UK for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. The organisers are grateful to Chris Boundy for leading the building of the beacon. The day of commemoration was concluded by ‘A Cry For Peace Around the World’, delivered by Town Crier, Sue Blower:
A Cry for Peace Around the World
Oyez Oyez Oyez
Town Criers raise your voices and together cry with me
Remembering those brave men and women in our history
The Battle’s Over A Nation’s tribute remembers them one and all
Be proud and stand united, don’t let your memories fall
Confidence is what we need so that Nations trust each other
And all the Races of mankind treat each other as a brother
Food for every living thing by nature is provided If we could only see it was equally divided
The woods and streams, the mountains high, the sea and golden shore
Were never ever meant to be the cause of senseless bloody war
Or race for powerful armaments and sacrifice of youth
But a World of true contentment built on Faith and Trust and Truth
Peace to the World God Save The Queen
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