Due to Covid, Sunday was the first opportunity I have have had to attend the local Remembrance Sunday ceremony at 11am as it didn’t run last year so despite having moved almost 2 years ago, this was the first time I got to witness it in person.
I’d been to the memorial last summer and was already very familiar with it having been past it thousands of times on the bus since I was about 8 years old.
If such a thing can be said, it was also a bit of a relief that I wasn’t giving a reading as I have done since 2014. Whereas everyone in my old village knew all about me, despite it being just a few miles away, no-one here really knows me, certainly not anyone who might ask me to say anything here so there was no pressure.
It was a lovely little service with the police closing off the usually busy main road and a few hundred people in attendance. There service was led by a local Vicar with readings also by a local Rabbi and an officer in the army with several other figures taking part too, not least a young chap who played The Last Post at the commencement and completion of the 2-minute silence.
An Ex-Serviceman from WW2 was the first to leave a wreath, you can see it on the top right in the form of a Star of David. Wreaths were then laid by representatives of institutions such as the RAF, Police and the Mayor of Hertsmere also laid wreaths before various associations and individuals did the same.
Having visited many village war memorials for personal and professional reasons, I’ve always found the Bushey memorial to be the most poignant and rather different than any others. It reminds me a little of the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge which was said to be the only war memorial that Hitler liked as it was the only one that truly illustrates the true sense of loss that war brings.
If you’re interested in WW1 then you might like my history book on the subject LEST WE FORGET which was published by Endeavour Press and available in paperback and electronic formats.