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Lights Out Commemorative Service

On the evening of the 4th August 2014 a large crowd gathered at the town’s memorial garden to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Britain’s entry into World War 1.  The event organised by the local branch of the Royal British Legion coincided with similar events taking place all over the country.  At 9pm the Legion Standard Bearers took up position and the Branch Chairman gave an opening address.  Three young majorettes from the Diamond Lights group, then lit a candle and placed it at the foot of the memorial.  Everyone was then treated to the first of three amazing songs by teenager Tayla Djemal.  David Olive and the Mayor, Sue Angland read two beautiful poems, ‘In Flanders Fields’ and ‘We will keep the faith’.  The Branch Chairman told the sad story of Ophir and Selina Jarvis, Ophir Jarvis being one of the 112 names engraved on the war memorial.  As darkness fell, the memorial which was lit by flood lights, provided the perfect setting for the Sea Scouts and Cubs to lay a wreath on behalf of the town.  The end of the ceremony saw the traditional sounding of the ‘Last Post’ and Cadet Lewis Kempson of the Air Training Corps read out the exhortation.  A moments silence was observed.  The silence was broken by a blast of a great war trench whistle.  The sound of such a whistle for many soldiers going over the top would have been the last thing they heard.  The whistle blast also signalled the turning off of the flood lights and the formal end of the ceremony.  Individuals then made their way into the memorial garden to lay their own personal tributes of flowers or candles at the memorial.  In the crowd on this unique occasion was 99 year old Margaret Jarvis, the daughter of Ophir Jarvis, thought to be the last direct relative to anyone on the memorial.  Although the ceremony was not rehearsed, it went very well.  The lighting and sound and in particular the incredible voice of young Tayla Djemal made it a very atmospheric and moving evening that was a fine tribute to those who fell and to the great war generation. 

Later Event: September 20
A Good Old British Concert