Shoulder To Shoulder With All Who Serve.
by Kathryn Courtney. Photographs by Kathryn Courtney and Bob Pitchford
It has been 100 years since the battle of Passchendaele, also known as the ‘Third Battle of Ypres’.
Shelling went on for hours at a time, it was an extremely muddy battle and casualties were high but it came to an end in November 1917 with the capture of the village by British and Canadian forces. Those who survived were haunted by the loss of friends and left physically and mentally numb at the loss of a generation.
This year also marks 100 years since women were enrolled into the British Army for the first time. The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was formed on 7th July 1917, with the creation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service and the Women’s Royal Air Force later that year.
With two World Wars and further conflicts that have followed
Remembrance Sunday commemorates those who lost their lives in battle and those who came home. Today saw the local community come together and pay their respects. Even a rain shower failed to dampen the laying of the poppy wreaths at the War Memorial by the Fire Brigade, Brownies, Guides, Beavers, Scouts, Sea Cadets, St. Marys Church and veterans.
Every year Lou Merrett attends the ceremony and this year he read a few words at the service. At the age of 98 years young he always talks with the children who attend the event as they are fascinated with his medals and what he has to say.
Norman Clark was a Bugler in the Light Infantry Army said of Remembrance Sunday.
I hope they will be remembered for their comradeship for helping others. I had some really good friends whilst in the army and sadly my two best mates have now passed away. It would be lovely to think this will continue and the sacrifices made by the many are never forgotten.
Remembrance is about the people, the men and women who had dreams, hopes, ambitions and futures, who had their lives ahead of them, who loved, laughed and shed tears the same as us. We must never forget their sacrifice so we can strive for a better world now and in the future.