Remembering their sacrifice

Air cadets. Photo: John Chatterley
Air cadets. Photo: John Chatterley
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A two-minute silence was observed in Dunstable on Friday remembering the fallen, on this the anniversary of the original armistice.

World War Two veteran Brian Mathews was there to honour his Uncle Pte Henry John Matthews whose name appears on the memorial roll of Honour for 1914-1918 conflict.

Dunstable Town Mayor Cllr Peter Hollick and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Cynthia Gresham. Photo: John Chatterley

Dunstable Town Mayor Cllr Peter Hollick and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Cynthia Gresham. Photo: John Chatterley

Armistice Day was instituted by King George V in 1919; this was to mark the first anniversary of the end of WW1. The long-awaited armistice took effect at 11am on 11 November 1919 and is observed every year. Armistice Day still evokes memories of those lost in battle.

The main focus of remembrance was on Sunday, when Dunstable again fell silent to remember the men and women who lost their lives in conflict.

The parade of the town’s ex-service and uniformed organisations marched from Grove House Gardens to the War Memorial in Priory House Gardens, where the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Mrs Cynthia Gresham, Dunstable Town Mayor Cllr Peter Hollick and the Vice Chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council Cllr Fiona Chapman, took the salute.

Hundreds then gathered at the War Memorial in Priory House Gardens to pay their respects to the servicemen and women who gave their lives in conflicts past and present.

The brightness of the autumn morning lent poignancy to the ceremony, the Last Post, the two minutes silence and then the bugler sounding Reveille.

The Dunstable Town Council Chief Executive and Town Clerk Mr David Ashlee then gave the Exhortation, which was followed by the Kohima Epitaph read by Cllr. Terry Colbourne.

Mrs Gresham, Cllr Hollick, and Cllr Chapman then led the laying of wreaths at the War Memorial, joined by armed forces veterans and organisations together with pupils from many Dunstable schools.

Rev Richard Andrews closed the War Memorial remembrance ceremony with prayers and a blessing and then all were invited to join the inter-denominational service in the Priory Church.

Cllr Hollick said: “It was an honour to take the salute, along with the Deputy Lord Lieutenant and the Deputy Chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council, as the cadets from the three services, representatives from the scouts and guides amongst others, marched past.

“On a day when we remember those who lost their lives in two World Wars and in other more recent conflicts, it was good to see so many people at the War Memorial.”