Henley paused to remember those who have fallen serving for our country today at 11am on Armistice Day.
Anne Evans, Chair of the Henley & Peppard Branch of the Royal British Legion led two minutes silence on the Town Hall steps and was joined by the Mayor, Councillor Sarah Miller, and Councillors David Eggleton, Kellie Hinton and Will Hamilton. Standard bearers John Green and James Nelson were part of the short ceremony which saw the last post played by bugler, Stuart Henderson.
Schools also took part in remembrance services and activities. At St Mary’s Preparatory School, classes designed their own poppies from Nursery to Year 6. Rupert House held their annual service attended by Father Jeremy Tayler from St Mary’s Church and local historian Mike Willoughby from the Henley Lest We Forget project. Mike with his wife Lesley have researched and written two books on Henley servicemen who lost their lives WW1 and WW2 and have fundraised to install new memorials in the town. Year 6 students Evie Walker, Annabel Spriggs, Chloe James, Chloe Collin and Catherine Fuller read poems and spoke about the importance of remembrance.
Headteacher, Nick Armitage thanked Father Jeremy, Mike and bugler Mr Congdon for coming. He said, “Next term we look forward to welcoming Mr Willoughby to talk to Year 6 pupils about what it would have been like to serve on the front line in the first World War. He will bring uniform and kit to bring to life the to the children the experiences of the British soldiers. On Monday in our assembly, we heard from Lt Col Richard North from the Army Reserves who spoke of his experiences, serving in Iraq and the important role the army plays in keeping the peace and avoiding conflict wherever possible. Today we remember those in the two World Wars and those since who have given their lives for our freedom.
Mike said, “This is a place I most like to be today. We are the generation that we are handing on a torch to you and I have no doubt that you will remember them for the next 50/60, whatever, years.”
Afterwards Mike went to lay a wreath on the Great War Memorial at Townlands Memorial Hospital which was unveiled in 2018 that includes the names of 310 Henley serviceman who lost their lives in WW1 including 100 who were not included on any original local memorial before 2014 when new plaques were installed at the Town Hall, St Mary’s and Trinity Churches, and 13 more who were been discovered after this.
Bringing Them Home Too (servicemen who gave their lives 1939-1946) is now available to purchase from Bell Bookshop priced £10.o0 or directly from Mike via https://www.henley-lestweforget.co.uk/contact-us