• Joe

Remembrance Sunday brings the community at Weston together

Updated: Nov 15, 2018

ONE hundred years after the end of the First World War, a large crowd of Weston residents gathered to remember military servicemen and women who lost their lives in conflict.

The ceremony began with a fantastic parade of young people and children belonging to uniformed organisations like the Boys' Brigade, Guides and Cubs. Residents standing near the Boots Pharmacy could hear drums as far away as the Moravian Church at the bottom of Lansdown Lane. Then the brass instruments broke into The Dambusters theme tune.

The parade headed for the War Memorial at the bottom of Weston Village High Street where lots more people were gathered. All the Weston churches had come together to organise the remembrance service around the War Memorial.

The service was led by Mark Searle, vicar of Weston All Saints Church, who began by saying that they had all gathered not to glorify war but to remember those who had fallen in battle.

Mr Neil Dowdney, Her Majesty's Lieutenant of Somerset, carried out an inspection of the guard – all the youngsters from the parade lined up with their banners.

In-between hymns, a young boy named Reggie Hodges read out a poem by the war poet John McCrae titled: 'In Flanders Field'.

At the end, everyone was invited to Weston All Saints Church for a Peace Lunch, with music, film, singing and food for all.

An anti-war protester is handled gently

An unexpected twist had occurred when a woman began to protest against war during the two-minute silence. In a loud and emotional voice, she called for an end to all wars. She went on to declare that many soldiers return from war and end up homeless on the streets.

Two Police Community Support Officers calmed her down. One of them had himself served with the Light Infantry. He told her that he agreed with many of her sentiments – but he said that she should respect the rights of others to remember lost loved ones with dignity. Afterwards, a soldier dressed in uniform and medals came over and talked softly to the woman. He too, said that he agreed with her, but that disrupting the ceremony wasn't the right way to make these points.

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