Town Comes Together to Remember the Fallen

“It is so important at this time of year, every year, that we come together and we honour the memory of those who’ve lost their lives in the service of our country. Today we remember the sacrifices made by young men and women, and those who serve to secure and preserve our freedom. We remember all of the fallen in all conflicts, who gave their lives for us,” these were the opening words from Henley Mayor’s speech at the Remembrance Service yesterday morning.

A large crowd gathered in Market Place for the poignant service which was attended by service men and women, youth organisations, Councillors, representatives from community organisations, schools and businesses.  The service was led by Father Jeremy Tayler of St Mary’s Church and the hymns, Jerusalem and I Vow to Thee My Country were led by St Mary’s Church choir accompanied by the Woodley Concert Band.  Chair of the Royal British Legion, Henley & Peppard branch, Anne Evans opened the service after The Bidding with the poem For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon before the Last Post was played by Stuart Henderson and afterwards she said the Kohima Epitaph.

Town Clerk, Sheridan Jacklin-Edward and the Mayor’s cadet Grace Iveson recited readings from the Bible and Father Jeremy led the blessings and prayers.

Henley Mayor, Councillor Sarah Miller went on to talk about the important role of the Royal British Legion who are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and how they had helped her grandfather, William James Smith, who fought in the second World War with Montgomery in Italy.  At the end of the speech she thanked all the young people from local youth organisations in Henley saying, “for you all represent our future.   A future of peace, tolerance and inclusion.” She ended by reciting a poem On the Western Front by Alfred Noyes.

The Deputy Lieutenant, Lady Cynthia Hall started the laying of the wreaths on the Town Hall steps.  The Herald was honoured to be asked to lay a wreath for the first time this year.

The uniformed organisations then paraded around the square with their standards and flags.  Afterwards everyone was invited to join the Mayor in the Town Hall for refreshments.