A chance to remember
Remembrance Sunday, which this year falls on 13th November, is a day for the nation to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.
In 2016, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme provides an opportunity to commemorate the Service and sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the battle, to reflect upon the human cost of conflict and to have hope for a more peaceful world.
Many of the soldiers who had signed up were everyday young men from close-knit communities across the UK who subsequently suffered horrible losses. They were good friends, neighbours and colleagues who signed up together on the promise they would serve alongside each other. It sounded easy. These patriotic volunteers were sold on the romance of war, “Your Country Needs You”, and became known as the ‘Pals’ battalions.
The Royal British Legion supports silences observed during both Remembrance Sunday services and on 11th November, Armistice Day, itself. The act of Remembrance has a place in - and impact on - our lives, no matter which day of the week it might fall upon.
Millions of people across the nation fall silent on the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th month, with services often taking place around war memorials at the heart of the community.
This year’s Guildhall Service of Remembrance in Portsmouth will be held at The Guildhall Portsmouth on Sunday 13th November, at 10am, and the Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance will be held at St Mary’s Church, Portsmouth, on the same day at 2.30pm.
To find out more about local Remembrance parades and services in your area, go to www.britishlegion.org.uk
In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle-scarred fields to write a now famous poem called ‘In Flanders Fields’. After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance.
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders' fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders' Fields.