We will remember them - 100 years of Commemoration.

On Sunday 11th November, as we do every Remembrance Sunday, Blaby Congregational Church will pay their respects to those who have fallen whilst serving this country, risking their lives to secure our futures.

This year Remembrance Sunday will be particularly poignant as it falls on the actual anniversary of Armistice Day which has been commemorated at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month since 1919 when King George V started the official commemorations. It is also the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Who do we Remember?

Each Year our Membership Secretary prepares a table of Remembrance which is dedicated to four members of our church who lost their lives during the First and the Second World War.

Framed photographs of their graves along with an explanation of who they were and where the fought and died are surrounded by poppies.

These are:

Private Alfred Edward Clarkson

Gunner Cyril Joseph Joyce

Private Walter Sidney Toon

Private Richard Jeffs

Why the Poppy?

Poppies became a symbol for those soldiers who lost their lives because they grew in abundance in the fields of Flanders after the First World War. Poppies grow in areas where the earth is well ploughed or turned over and it had certainly been churned up by four years of digging trenches and fighting. The colour of the poppies is also symbolic of the blood that was shed.

This year many community organisations are making their own displays of poppies in Village Halls. Libraries and Council offices.

'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red'

This year we will also display the ceramic poppy which was gifted to the church by a Member's family earlier this year. This is one of the 888,246 ceramic poppies designed and made by Paul Cummins Ceramics for the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' at the Tower of London between 5th August and 11th November 2014. Each poppy representing a British and Commonwealth person who died during World War One. The first poppy was planted on August 5th, the first day of Britain’s full participation in the war, and the last poppy was planted on Armistice Day, November 11th. The installation commemorated the centenary of the start of the First World War and it is fitting that they have since been sold in aid of Service Charities and so our poppy like many of the individual ceramic poppies will be on display this year for the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Photograph of 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' in the presentation box

Sunday 11th November am

As usual our Sunday service will start at the earlier time of 09:30am, led by the Council it will be a service of reflection with poems and readings. The service will end by 10.30am allowing the congregation to join the parade when it reaches the War Memorial at the top of Park Road for the service to commence at 10.45am.

The short service at the War Memorial will be led by our Pastor Julie Newitt and Revd Jane Micklethwaite Priest in Charge of All Saint's Church. The Remembrance Sunday parade and service have been organised by a committee from Churches Together in Blaby and this year they have managed to arrange a rolling road block to ensure that the parade occurs safely and that due respect is ensured for the two minutes silence at 11am.

Some of our Church Members will be attending parades elsewhere on Remembrance Sunday and one of our young people is particularly busy this weekend playing 'The Last Post' at Brockington College on Thursday evening and on Friday morning and at Enderby United Reformed Church on Sunday morning after parading with Enderby Band.

Battles Over, the Light of Hope and a Cry for Peace

This year there is also a National "Battles Over" event organised by the National Pageantmaster Bruno Peek. This will start at 6.00pm with 1000 individual pipers playing the traditional Scottish lament played at the end of battle – Battle’s O’er. At 6.55pm there will be a National sounding of 'The Last Post' by 1000 buglers at WW1 Beacons of Light locations. Brass Bands across the UK have been invited to add to this playing and as Enderby Youth Band rehearse on a Sunday evening they will be pausing their rehearsal to take part.

At 7pm 1000 Beacons of Light will be lit in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories to symbolise the Light of Hope and at 7.05pm a Cry for Peace will be started by a Chelsea Pensioner at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea after which 100 Town Criers throughout the United Kingdom and other countries around the World join together in an International Cry for Peace around the World.