article submitted by Dorothy Anderson
On Sunday 11th November the Remembrance Day service was held in the Methodist Church. The members of the United Reformed Church attended together with the children of the local branch of the Beavers. Before the service began the Beavers flag was brought to the front of the church by one of their members.
The service was led by our Local Preacher Celia Hawley with Beryl Peacock on the organ.
Candles were lit and the traditional two minutes silence was observed at 11 am. The service was well attended with approximately 50 present both young and old.
After the service the congregation then moved to the War Memorial in the Cemetery for another short service at 12 mid day where a large number parishioners attended to pay their respects. Wreaths were laid on behalf of various organisations including the Beavers.
The best thing about the events of 11th November in Wickhambrook was the way in which the whole day brought the village together to remember those who died in World War 1 and celebrate the Armistice in 1918. This stemmed from an initiative by Kathryn and Alan Cordy and Mike Pettitt who were keen to honour this special anniversary and took the form of an exhibition in the WI Hall to coincide with the Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial in the village.
The Hall itself was part of the exhibition as it is an Army hut from the period and it looked marvellous hung with bunting and flags and filled with every sort of memorabilia lent by the people of Wickhambrook and beyond, whose families had connections to the War. Photographs, medals, badges and letters brought the era to life and music on an authentic phonograph added greatly to the atmosphere. Poppies made by Michael, Alan and Kathryn and WI members were strung on hedges and gates and were woven through the grass of the cemetery, making it a poignant sight.
The showstopping moment was when Michael appeared in uniform and mounted on a splendid horse, flanked by the Pask brothers, also in uniform, looking every bit as young and vulnerable as those they represented.
The simple ceremony at the War Memorial led by the Methodist minister and followed by the laying of wreaths from village organisations was very moving, and it was wonderful to see youngsters taking part. All denominations as well as all age groups were represented. Medals were worn with pride and the sun shone.
There are so many people who were involved in making this a special day that it is impossible to name them all, but huge thanks to Kathryn, Alan and Michael for carrying their idea to such a great conclusion with help from friends and family; to the WI and History Society for all the tea and cake; Gillian, secretary of the History Society and WI for help sourcing funding and hiring uniforms; the Parish Council, Borough Council and County Council for financial contributions and most of all the people of the village for their generosity in lending keepsakes.