Sevenoaks residents turn out in force for annual Remembrance Sunday service and parade on The Vine
The earth-shattering noise from the maroon set off at 11am during the service of remembrance at the Vine War Memorial in Sevenoaks on Sunday was in direct contrast to the two minutes of silence that followed.
Two loud bangs marked the start and finish of the two minutes silence which was once again impeccably observed by the very large crowd of Sevenoaks residents of all ages who attended the service on a sunny but chilly morning to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice during conflicts and wars throughout the world.
Similar Remembrance Sunday services were held at village war memorials throughout the district.
The Sevenoaks service started with a civic parade which included dignitaries and representatives from local organisations and political parties. They took their place in front of the War Memorial with groups of youth organisations whose bright uniforms added colour to the proceedings.
After the first hymn there was a reading from scripture by Father David Gibbins followed by The Bidding read by Rev Canon Angus MacLeay and The Exhortation by Chairman of the Royal Naval Association, SM Fred Faircloth.
A member of the Eynsford Concert Band, which again provided the music during the service, performed the Last Post which drifted hauntingly across The Vine as the crowd once again went completely silent as the Standards on display from the various military associations were dipped.
Rev Angela Rigby then read Prayers of remembrance and Peace in the Future before a rendition of the National Anthem and a blessing. Hymns sung during the service included O God, our help in ages past; Immortal, Invisible, God only wise; and Amazing Grace.
The morning concluded with the traditional march past when Sevenoaks dignitaries and representatives lined up in front of War memorial to take salutes from the youth organisations who paraded towards the town centre.
There were two familiar faces missing from this year’s parade. War veterans and Royal British Legion members Pat Moore and Harry Garrett, who were well known in the local community and raised thousands of pounds over the years during the poppy appeal, both passed away this year.
Many workplaces will also fall quiet tomorrow (Monday) when people observe two minute’s silence to commemorate Armistice Day.
An armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, marked the end of hostilities on the Western Front in 1918.
This took effect at 11am or as it is known now – the 11th hour of the 11h day of the 11th month.
Wreaths were laid at the Sevenoaks War Memorial by individuals or representatives from the following organisations: RAFA Sevenoaks; Royal Naval Association (Sevenoaks Branch); The Royal British Legion; Sevenoaks District Council; Former Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon; Sevenoaks Conservatives; Sevenoaks Town Council; Sevenoaks Fire Station; Lord Lieutenant of Kent; Kent County Council; Royal Engineers Association (Tunbridge Wells Branch; The Lancashire Fusiliers (in memory of Reginald Edden OBE); Air Bourne Gunners/33 Parachute Regt/71 Parachute Regt/ Royal Horse Artillery; Sevenoaks Army Cadet Force; British Red Cross (Sevenoaks); Kent Police; Sevenoaks District Scouts; Soroptimist International Sevenoaks Club; Sevenoaks & District Chamber of Commerce; West Kent Mind; Churches Together in Sevenoaks & District; Sevenoaks Labour Party; Amherst Rotary Club; Sevenoaks Round Table; Thackray Williams Solicitors; Sennocke Masonic Lodge; Wreath in memory of Pat Moore; West Kent Freemasons – Arnhem 75th Anniversary/1st Airbourne Division; Brexit Party (Sevenoaks); Peace & Concorde Lodge; Sevenoaks Rotary Club; Royal Mail Sevenoaks; The Parish of St Thomas of Canterbury Church Sevenoaks; Sevenoaks & Tonbridge Age UK; The Sevenoaks CFR Charity (First Responder Ambulance Service); Sevenoaks Magistrates; Sevenoaks Lions Club; Sevenoaks District Guides; Sevenoaks Liberal Democrats; St Johns Ambulance (Sevenoaks); Air Training Corps (Sevenoaks).
The March Past
Invitation to former members of the Armed Forces
The Mayor of Sevenoaks, Cllr Nick Busvine is holding a free breakfast for former members of the Armed Forces at the Bat & Ball Station Café in Sevenoaks (TN14 5AP at 9.30am on Friday 22 November.
If you are interested in coming along and meeting with other former service personnel, you can register your interest with Avril Mitcham at Sevenoaks Town Council by calling 01732 459953 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org