12th November – Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday is the second Sunday of November and ceremonies are held throughout the country in churches, cenotaphs and war memorials.

We had a knock on the door at 8 am, a reminder that our car was parked on the route of the parade and needed moving. It was chilly out.
Remembrance Sunday
At 10:15 dignitaries paraded from the Guildhall to St Helen’s Church, and after a service inside joined the crowd of people already standing round the war memorial in the Square shortly before 11am.
Remembrance Sunday
They were joined at both services by soldiers from Dalton Barracks, who not only join the community at Abingdon but send teams to ceremonies round the region.
Remembrance Sunday
Many different uniformed groups took part. On Remembrance Sunday, Scouts are expected to attend and give the troop priority over their other Sunday sporting activities.
Remembrance Sunday
So at 11 Abingdon paused to pay its respects to those who lost their lives in conflict. The ‘Last Post’ was played by Abingdon Town Band member, Alison Rich, to mark the start of the two minute silence at 11. She then sounded the ‘Reveille’. After which The Deputy Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Felicity Dick; the Mayor of Abingdon, Councillor Jan Morter; MP for Abingdon and Oxford West, Layla Moran, the Royal British Legion and many other organisations laid wreaths of red poppies at the memorial.
Remembrance Sunday
The poppy is the symbol of the Day of Remembrance because many years ago poppies grew from the the choppy earth where troops had fallen.

Remembering is the process of ‘Bringing the past into the present’… But who now can remember what it was like to live in the trenches of WWI? Only through war poetry have those memories become part of our collective consciousness …

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz–
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench–
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?

(lines from a poem by Siegfried Sassoon called Aftermath)
Remembrance Sunday
Finally there is a march along the High Street to the County Hall. People, who could not squeeze into the Square,cheered as the band, the troops and uniformed groups marched by.

One innovation this year, and a sign of the times after recent terrorist attacks by vehicles driven into crowds, was that a tractor, and land rover were parked at strategic points – as crash barriers.

12 thoughts on “12th November – Remembrance Sunday

  1. Mark H

    So often the references to the Great War concentrate on the Western Front. The boys from “D” (Wantage) Squadron, Berkshire Yeomanry (troopers from Abingdon, Wantage and Faringdon) served at Suez, Gallipoli, Egypt, Sinai, and Palestine. After the fall of Jerusalem they transferred to France in 1918. In 1917 they took part in the First, Second And Third Battles of Gaza and the swift advance through southern Palestine that ended with the capture of Jerusalem. A very different war. One if heat, thirst, hunger, malaria and above all movement.

  2. Deedee

    Having driven into town to find access to West saint Helens car park blocked I drove to the multi story car park only to find the thing closed all bar the ground floor. People were frantically driving around trying to find somewhere to path and many I suspect like me gave up and went home, what a shambles?
    Looking at the photos here do I detect our MP ? Ah, she does know where Abingdon is then? Thought she was M I A !

  3. ppjs

    Our MP represents Oxford West and Abingdon; the constituency covers more than our town. Omnipresence is not a requirement for MPs as yet. No doubt Layla Moran was at a memorial service somewhere else in the area.

    When I think about what soldiers, sailors and air force personnel went through, the complaint about inadequate parking seems just a little disproportionate.

  4. Deedee

    PPJS, it’s disproportionate to close the towns major car park on one of the most important days of towns diary, I cane to pay my respects and to give thanks, surely our council has a duty to make necessary facilities open in order for one to do that? I wasn’t the only person to have given up and gone home.

  5. ppjs

    Service people were dying in World War 1 at the rate of 4000 a day. Of course, we want to pay our respects, but car parking as the priority?!

  6. Deedee

    I can’t believe you’re being so antagonistic PPJS?
    My point was I wanted to pay my respects and rememberence at the cenotaph, but couldn’t because the towns major car park was closed, what’s more I was not the only one, why can’t you accept that as a perfectly reasonable observation ?
    What’s more I don’t need you to lecture me on the statistics of war, my family losses are a reminder of that!

  7. StHelensResident

    It’s great that so many people, young and old, attend. But could the sound system be improved next year? Most of what was said at the War Memorial was inaudible further back in the crowd. As a result there was a lot of chattering during a lot of it (except during the 2 minutes silence). It would be great to be able to hear it all.

  8. DavidofLuton

    StHelensResident, I remember asking 12 years ago that the sound system be improved. If you are standing on the Ock Street side of the remembrance service, you did not used to be able to hear at all – especially the spoken words.


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