Veterans, serviceman, Service Cadet Corps and members of other local organisations and associations including the St John’s Ambulance, the fire and police service, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from Henley were joined by hundreds of people at the Remembrance Day parade yesterday morning to pay their respects.
This year the Mayor, Councillor Julian Brookes, who served as a submariner in the Royal Navy, had asked that the service had a naval flavour which was reflected in the first hymn Eternal Father, Strong to Save and the Submariners’ prayer.
Before the service started there was a spectacular fly past of a Chinook helicopters from RAF Benson.
The service was led by Canon Martyn Griffiths from St Mary’s Church who began the service with an introduction”My brothers and sisters today we gather, as we do each year, to pray for peace in the world God made, and peace for which so many have already laid down their lives and for which so many continue to die, day by day.”
The last post was sounded at 11’oclock followed by a 2 minute silence. The Mayor’s cadet Josie Day then read the lesson (Psalm 107:23-30/31) before the prayers and the Mayor’s address.
The Mayor said, “We stand together today to honour the fallen of all of our military services not only of the two World Wars but also the many other conflicts of this island’s history.
2016 has been marked by the 100th anniversaries of the battles of The Somme and Jutland. Both witnessed significant casualties and while we focus on the sad loss of so many lives, we should remember the many more who were wounded, their families and friends and those who were regarded as being “shell shocked” which we now know as “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”.
While we are getting on with our daily lives, our service men and women are out there – day and night – fighting in terrifying conditions. We honour the incredible courage and sacrifice of generations of British service men and women who have given their lives to protect the freedoms that we enjoy today.”
The service ended with individuals and organisations laying wreaths on the town hall steps before a march past around Market Place.
On Saturday members of the local cadets were out around town collecting for the British Legion Poppy Appeal and in Market Place there were members and military vehicles from Berks and Oxon Area Military Vehicle Trust. Many shop windows around town did a remembrance display including Facy, Bell Bookshop and Asquith’s Teddy Bear shop on New Street (picture above).