Today is Armed Forces Day in Tewkesbury, actually it was yesterday everywhere else, it is just that we like being different. 😉
The reason for our delay was probably because there had been some additions to our War Memorial and a parade would have really caused havoc in the town. The War Memorial is in somewhat of an important junction so it tends to remind everybody battling to get around it that there were two World Wars and Tewkesbury was involved too.
I have covered the memorial in allatsea, but the additional names really mean that I need to update it too. The parade was scheduled from 9.30 till 11.30, but it battled to get started. Strangely enough there was not as large a military contingent as I would have expected, although veterans and cadets were well represented.
As usual the Town Band showed the way and they paused at the Town Hall to collect the civic party who were dressed in their finest, led by the Town Crier: Michael David Kean-Price – Town Sarjent and Common Crier, Formerly of your Majesty’s Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (The Blues). (He told me that the bell he carries weighs in at 8lb.)
Fortunately the town isn’t that large that the tail end of the parade hasn’t left while the front has arrived. There were not too many people around either, but then I expect not too many were aware of the event either. It was not well advertised.
And with the memorial surrounded on all sides they commenced the unveiling of the two new plaques. Unfortunately many memorials are faced with the same problem of who to put in and who to leave out. A lot of servicemen and women died after their military service and were omitted from Rolls of Honour and Memorials. It is a tragic state of affairs, especially in South Africa where there are over 2000 who are not commemorated on the National Roll of Honour or on the CWGC lists.
The unveiling really followed the tried formula of a Remembrance Service with its attendant Last Post and 2 minutes silence which was ruined by an idiot on a motorbike.
The new plaques look like this.
There was an elderly couple at the World War Two plaque and I suspect they were related to somebody commemorated on the plaque. Too many years too late is my opinion.
And then we were done and the parade marched off to take the salute at the Town Hall. I drifted away towards the closest loo and then walked up to the Vineyards to photograph the Monument there which I will post about eventually. It was 26 degrees outside and a cold ale went down very well. I paused at the cemetery too because one of the names on the one plaque was familiar.
Worker Kathleen Rose Sollis is buried in Tewkesbury Cemetery, she died on 22 March 1918, aged 20.
One day I hope to know the circumstances of her death.
And that was Armed Forces Day. Thanks to serving and past members of HM Forces as well as those who serve in the Police, Fire Department, Hospitals too… Thank You.
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