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Hundreds Gather at Traditional Remembrance Service – ‘We Will Remember Them’

Published on: 15 Nov, 2021
Updated on: 16 Nov, 2021

Poppy Wreaths laid on the steps of Guildford’s war memorial in the Castle Grounds. The standard-bearers are local Royal Marine and Royal Navy cadets.

By Martin Giles

Hundreds gathered at Guildford’s war memorial yesterday Remembrance Sunday (November 14) to remember those who have died in conflict.

Members of the public file into the Castle Grounds to participate in the Remembrance ceremony.

The ceremony followed its traditional format, back to normal after last year’s strict Covid restrictions, with a two-minute silence, the playing of Last Post and the singing of the national anthem.

A bugler played Last Post.

Veterans and contingents from the Royal British Legion, Surrey Police, various youth organisations, including cadet forces, were present, in addition to aldermen and local councillors.

Standard bearers from the Scouts, Guides, St John’s Ambulance and Surrey Army Cadet Force.

Wreaths were laid simultaneously at the original war memorial, erected after the First World War and the new memorial for those who have died in conflicts in recent conflicts.

Among those who laid wreaths were Guildford’s Mayor Marsha Moseley, MP Angela Richardson, Brig Roger Hood QVRM TD DL and Council Leader Joss Bigmore. James Whiteman, GBCs managing director, also laid a wreath on behalf of all council officers. He was attending his last remembrance service in that role.

Local dignitaries included, from left to right: Angela Richardson MP, Lt Col (Retd) Patrick Crowley (Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment), James Whiteman, GBC MD, Rupert Onslow, 8th Earl of Onslow, and GBC Council Leader Joss Bigmore.

Earlier a Remembrance Service was conducted by Canon Robert Cotton in Holy Trinity Church. Canon Cotton also presided at the Castle Grounds. He read out the much-quoted verse from Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen:

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

The poem was first published in The Times newspaper on 21 September 1914.

“We will remember them”

The civic procession left the Guildhall for Holy Trinity at 9.30am.  After the service, the Mayor took the salute on the pavement outside the church and the civic procession followed the parade to the Castle Grounds.

Taking the salute – Photo: GBC

The Mayor, Cllr Marsha Moseley, said: “It was very poignant to be able to come together in person again to remember those who have died in military conflicts. We will forever remember them.  Remembrance Day is an important part of history for the nation and Guildford. It’s important that we continue to honour the bravery of those servicemen and servicewomen who fought on behalf of our freedom.”

Cllr Tom Hunt, Armed Forces Champion, said: “Remembrance Sunday is very personal to all of us, as we remember family, friends and loved ones who have served our country, but it also unites communities in respect and reflection. I hope that local people find our war memorials places to reflect and honour those who gave up so much for the lives we now get to live.”

A ceremony to mark Armistice Day was also held on Thursday 11 November at the Guildhall, with a two-minute silence observed at 11am.  The ceremony was attended by Commander Susan Lochner DL, the Mayor of Guildford Marsha Moseley. Rev’d Tom Pote of Holy Trinity, as well as a number of local veterans and representatives of local community groups.

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