A centenary ago "the guns fell silent on the Western Front", with the Armistice that ended World War 1 / The Great War, at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918. As with all around the UK and the World, Churchdown & Innsworth Communities came together to commemorate those who gave their ‘ultimate sacrifice’at St Andrews & St. Bartholemew's Church, Churchdown in Gloucester.
Incredible WW1 recording reveals the moment the guns fell silent after four years of war in 1918.
In Churchdown, this very special event was, this year, hosted by St. Andrew's and St. Bartholemew's Church. The Remembrance Parade formed up at Churchdown Village Junior School car park, with over 200 members on parade, mostly children and young people in uniformed groups. British Army Veteran Mr Christopher Auker-Howlett (Parade Marshal) gave a briefing, firstly welcoming all present, especially those very young children attending, then on how the parade was to take place, including laying Poppy Wreaths and Crosses with the names of those from Churchdown and Innsworth who were killed in WW1 & WW2.
- Veteran and Royal British Legion Standard Bearer
- HQ ARRC Royal Engineers (from Imjin Barracks in Innsworth)
- Innsworth Army Cadets
- Innsworth Air Training Cadets (2342 (Innsworth) Squadron)
- Churchdown and Innsworth Cubs, Scouts & Adventure Scouts
- Churchdown and Innsworth Rainbows & Brownies
- Churchdown Fire Station (with their on duty fire engine at the rear of the Parade)
We were very fortunate that the wet and cold weather held off for us and it was so great to see so many groups taking part with Veterans and members of the public lining the Parade route up to St Andrews & St. Bartholemew's Church. Thank you also to Churchdown PCSO Alex, Gloucester Police, for ensuring the Parade Route was closed and safe.
The first part of the Rememberance service took part around the War Memorial outside St Andrew's Church, with a tight formation so that both the Parade and members of the public could observe the commemorations. The Church clock struck 11.00 am to mark the two minute silence that was being heard by millions of people around the world, to mark the centenary of the end of the WW1. Local dignitaries from the Churchdown Council, RAF, Emergency Services and Brigadier Timmis (Rep from HQ ARRC) and youth organisations presented Poppy Wreaths to three Innsworth Army Cadets (dressed in WW1 British Uniforms) who, in turn, smartly laid them around the War Memorial. Additionally, the ‘Names of the Fallen’ from both WW1 & WW2 on crosses were also laid around the memorial by children and young people from the uniformed groups.
Everyone was warmly welcomed into St Andrew's & St Bartholemew's Church to take part on the Church Service, with younger children taking part in the church's community room and refreshments were also made available to those who did not wish to take part in the service. Additionally, the Churchdown Scout Hut held a separate Remembrance Service near to St Andrew's for Scouting Units. Links were made during the service to the types of selfless sacrifices made, from WW1 to a female British Army Medic who put her life second to those injured in an Afghanistan IED (Improvised Explosive Device). Soon after the church service concluded, the Parade formed up and marched back down the hill to the Churchdown Junior School, with Brigadier Timmis taking the salute as the Parade passed him.
A final Parade Dismissal Speech was given by Brigadier Timmis, aimed at those children and youth groups on parade about their smart turnout, the values that mirror both military service and young people’s progress through their youth groups on to adulthood. Mr Christopher Auker-Howlett gave a final few words of appreciation for all those who attended the parade and service before dismissing the parade for more refreshments at St Andrew's & St Bartholemew's Church.