Category Archives: war

75th Anniversary of the end of WWII

At 11am, to remember the end of the war and all who had died, ‘The Last Post’ and the ‘Reveille’ were played by Alison Rich of Abingdon Town Band.
VJ-Day
Wreaths were then laid at Abingdon’s War Memorial by the Mayor of Abingdon-on-Thames, Councillor Charlie Berks, and the Chair of Vale of White Horse District Council, Councillor Margaret Crick.

The tenor bell tolled at St Helen’s Church followed by the chime of the tenor at St Nicolas Church, 75 times between them.

Here is a short video of the ceremony and the bells.

One Hundred and First Anniversary of the Armistice

One Hundred and First Anniversary of the Armistice
A whistle was blown at 11 am this morning and the traffic was stopped near Abingdon War Memorial. There followed a two minutes silence, observed by people standing round the outside of The Square, and by those on the War Memorial island. The whistle was blown again and normal activity resumed.
One Hundred and First Anniversary of the Armistice
Children, and staff from Thameside School were there for the ceremony. Two of the children are seen here with Headteacher, Miss Anna Grice, and alongside her are Clare – the Poppy Co-ordinator, and The Mayor of Abingdon. After the ceremony, the children went on to look at the wreaths and names on the memorial. They saw that there were seven Abingdon Carters killed during WWI. There were also other Abingdon names they knew.
One Hundred and First Anniversary of the Armistice
Across Abingdon and the UK, the two minute silence showed respect for those killed in wars. There was another ceremony at 11 am at Abingdon and Witney College. Crosses and a wreath could be seen afterwards.
One Hundred and First Anniversary of the Armistice
One hundred years ago, in 1919, The King invited all his people to join him in a special celebration to mark the first anniversary of the armistice. That included a two minute silence.

The North Berks Herald reported ‘the siren at the Abingdon Pavlova Works gave the signal for the observance of the King’s message’
One Hundred and First Anniversary of the Armistice
In 1919 a white cross had been placed on the Square. On that first Armistice anniversary  ‘Members of the Abingdon branch of Comrades of the War placed a wreath on the shrine in the Square in memory of fallen comrades.’
One Hundred and First Anniversary of the Armistice
The North Berks Herald also reports ‘… A short service was conducted in St Nicolas Church and the whole of the seats in the nave were occupied. The congregation stood in silence at the appointed time.’

Thankyou to Abingdon Library and Herald for the extracts. Thankyou to the Imperial War Museum and their film Abingdon’s Welcome to the Heroes of The Great War for the picture of the temporary shrine. A permanent War Memorial was only being thought about in 1919.

New Commemorative Benches at Abingdon Guildhall + announcement of Annual Parish Meeting

Benches
The front view of the Guildhall no longer has the silhouettes of servicemen from WWI. Instead there are two commemorative benches.
Benches
One bench shows scenes from WWII with the years 1939 – 1945 and a dove of peace.
Benches
The other bench shows scenes from WWI with the reminder Lest we forget and the years 1918 – 2018.

The annual parish meeting will be on Tuesday 12th March at 7 pm in the Roysse Room in the Guildhall. This is when the Town Council reports back on their work and achievements during the last year.

The annual parish meeting is also the opportunity for anybody living in Abingdon to ask questions of the Town Council. For more detail see the agenda at Annual Parish Meeting.

Flooding five years ago and Thames at War

Flooding five years ago
Spike sent me this picture of Abingdon – five years ago, showing the River Thames having burst its banks. Thankyou to him.

There is a bigger version (here …)

Last time the River Thames broke its banks was in April 2018. The Thames at War event at the Lock was postponed as a consequence. I read in the Oxford Mail that the event will be held instead on April 14th, 2019.
Flooding five years ago
The WWII Pillbox is between Marcham and Abingdon.