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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

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Cumbria remembers the fallen of World War One

OUT of the darkness, came the light as hundreds of candles lit up Castle Park in Whitehaven on Monday evening in an act of Remembrance.

Last night marked the 100th anniversary of the day Britain entered the First World War and more than 1,000 people came to pay their respects.

A century on, members of the armed forces, cadets and families all paid a fitting tribute to the 622 men from Whitehaven and surrounding areas who gave their lives fighting for our freedom.

The Whitehaven Male Voice Choir opened the memorial with God Save The Queen as candles were lit.

Around the war memorial 201 candles were alight, with all but one being extinguished at the end of the service.

Ian Fisher, chair of the Bransty British Legion said: “The people of Whitehaven always come out to support and remember the sacrifices made by our forefathers.”

He added: “Tonight we have been part of something special, this is a unique occasion that will only happen once in people’s lives.

The initiative was inspired by a famous remark made on the eve of the outbreak of war by the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, who said: ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.’

When Castle Park was plunged into darkness a two minute silence followed.

Amongst was Maureen MacMillan, of Whitehaven.

She said: “My great granddad, J. Ewing, was hit with shrapnel which eventually killed him but not before he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

“I wanted to come here tonight to keep his memory going.”

EGREMONT: Emotive church services have been held in Egremont to commemorate the centenary of World War One.

Two separate services were held in the town by The Royal British Legion. The first was Sunday at Egremont Parish Church as candles were lit for the occasion. Egremont Town Band also attended the evening.

John Edwards, from the Egremont Royal British Legion, said: “It was wonderfully attended with the church completely full. The evening was filled with poems and readings ands it was excellent.”

John gave a special mention to other organisers - group captain Richard Lee, Cpt Simon Cake, Rev Tim Taylor and Rev Clare Danks-Flower.
There was also a World War One memorabilia exhibition set up by St Bees School for attendees to look over. The event was followed by tea and cakes.

On Monday there was a Last Post and Reveille with the Royal British Legion Standard, at Egremont Parish Church Tower. The traditional ringing of a muffled peal of tower bells took place at midday to commemorate those who lost their lives.

WORKINGTON: More than 100 people gathered in the centre of Workington to commemorate the fallen.

At 10pm, Tony Jackson opened proceedings and people sang wartime songs, heard readings from the war poets and letters home from those on the front line by town mayor Mary Bainbridge, Phil Dryden, Lesley Jackson and Gillian Scholey.

Mrs Jackson organised the event and chose the readings, which included In Flanders Field and Soldier by Rupert Brooks.

She said: “I was overwhelmed by the turnout as we didn’t shout about it, it was quite low key beforehand.”

Cadets, serving soldiers, British Legion representatives and councillors all paid their respects, which included a moment’s silence.

CARLISLE: In the twilight, Carlisle’s Rickerby Park rang with the songs of the war as hundreds gathered for the rededication of the city’s war memorial.

As the crowd formed, many placed lit candles on the memorial.

As the light faded, the floodlights picked out the inscriptions on the pink Shap granite to some of the regiments Cumbrians served with: The Border Regiment which lost 13,000 men; the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry; the Cumberland Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery; and the Westmorland Detachment of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

The bells of Carlisle Cathedral rang out to summon the faithful of the city to mark the centenary.

The poem on the back of the Order of Service, written in November 1918 by Moina Michael, promises to ‘keep the faith with all who died’.

Hundreds did just that at Monday evening’s ceremony, remembering those who served and who lost their lives in the conflict.

The congregation spanned the generations, made up by families, individuals, dignitaries and members of the Air Training Squadron and the Army Cadet Force (ACF) who took the collection during the service.

One of them, Tom Underwood, 15, of Denton Holme, who serves with the Harraby Detachment of the ACF, said he was glad to be part of the event.

Speaking after the service, he said: “I’m proud to be here but you never feel you can ever do as much as they did. The more I know about what happened the more I realise there’s a lot more to learn.”

Representatives from the Catholic, Methodist and United Reformed Churches also took part in the place where, on August 5 1914, the day after war was declared, the Border Regiment marched from the castle to place their colours in the cathedral sanctuary.

PENRITH: A day of remembrance was held in Penrith’s St Andrew’s Church, culminating in its own candle-lit vigil.

The church opened its doors from 10am on Monday, before Churches Together gathered to host the special vigil and evening service.

Visitors were able to sign the memorial book, set up for the event, before the day’s end was marked with the ringing of the muffled bells.

The day was organsied by Penrith Remembers 1914-1918 and also included a special display of First World War-era photographs and memorabilia.

You can see more photographs and reaction from events in Copeland in this week’s Whitehaven News.

Have your say

Geoff & Derek, I am a serving sapper WO II Peter Burns of the Royal Engineers Reserve(TA). I am also a Sergeant Major Instructor with Cumbria Army Cadet Force, I attended the Ceremony in Uniform. Unfortunately Whitehaven Army Cadets could not attend due to the fact that they have to submit paperwork to Cumbria ACF HQ at Carlisle for authorisation to attend a public event 6 weeks in advance.

Posted by Peter Burns on 22 August 2014 at 19:35

Geoff, although a request was made to the army cadet organisation for representation,
the response from them was negative. I found it very sad that the army was not represented bearing in mind the occasion

Posted by derek long on 5 August 2014 at 16:08

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