St Edmund’s Church was packed to the rafters for the Remembrance Day Service which also marked the 100 year anniversary of Armistice Day and the end of World War 1.
Veterans, servicemen and women, civic dignitaries, emergency services, youth groups and charities filled the town centre to take part in the Royal British Legion Parade, led by Shipston Town Band. Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Mark Davies, joined members of the Shipston Branch of the Royal British Legion, the Mayor and local councillors in a proud march to the memorial where wreaths were laid on behalf of the town’s many community organisations.
It was standing room only for the service, which was led jointly by Reverend Sarah Edmonds from St Edmund’s, and Reverend Daniel Pulham from Shipston Baptist Church. St Edmund’s was decorated with poppies designed by young people in the town, each commemorating one of the men from Shipston who fell in the First World War. Outside, the church was adorned with a spectacular display of knitted poppies prepared by volunteer knitters to commemorate the Centenary.
The names of Shipston’s Fallen were read out by prefects from Shipston High School. Royal British Legion Branch President, David Kernohan, then told the story of Samuel Begley, who died in 1918 and who is remembered on the town’s memorial. His story is particularly poignant as the Legion’s Standard Bearer on the day was Connor Begley – Samuel’s Great, Great, Great Grandson.
RBL Branch Chairman, Richard Adams, said: “We were delighted to see such a strong turnout in this particularly important year of Remembrance. Thank you to everyone who took part in the Parade, as well as those behind the scenes who helped make it happen.”
Mayor, Ian Cooper, said: “On behalf of the Town Council, I would like to congratulate the Royal British Legion on such a successful event and thank the Town Band for leading the Parade in such spectacular fashion – we all felt proud to be a part of it.”
Reflecting on the involvement of the different groups in the Parade, Councillor Ali Henderson said: “From the youngest Brownie to the eldest veteran, it was quite something to see such a widespread commitment to public service from the residents of our town.”