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.
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.
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 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’
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.’
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.
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.