We still remembered them

By Forester Reporter   |   Reporter   |
Wednesday 11th November 2020 9:28 am
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Five Acres High School’s head girl, Freya Joyce and head boy Thomas Youe were among 60 people at Remembrance in Coleford

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THE annual tribute to those who died in war went ahead across the Forest despite Covid in scaled back and even online formats.

There was no parade at Cinderford where the Remembrance service but a pre-recorded service was broadcast on Sunday on the Cinderford Churches YouTube channel.

The town’s churches, British Legion and town council had planned to livestream the service from St Stephen’s but that was changed because of lockdown.

Chair of Cinderford Town Council, Chris Witham, said “The Remembrance parade has seen significant growth in support in recent years and unfortunately it was not possible to hold a safe event in the Triangle this year.

“It is great to work with partner organisations to be able to put on a service of remembrance that we hope the community will be able to engage with and see as a suitable tribute in difficult circumstances.”

Vicar of Cinderford with Littledean, Rev Mike Barnsley said “We live in strange and difficult times and we’ve all had to make changes to our way of life this year.

“Many life events have been impacted this year but we have taken great steps forward to be able to live-stream weddings and funerals alongside Sunday services.

“I am thankful we are still able to put together a service and remember together across our community.”

Chair of Cinderford Royal British Legion, Geoff Jones said “It is disappointing but understandable that we cannot meet in person this year.

“However, after the success of our live-streamed V E Day service, I am confident we will have a fitting act of Remembrance this year with the added benefit that people who are home bound or living further away will be able to join in and remember with us as a community.”

At Coleford, the head boy and girl of Five Acres High School laid a wreath at the memorial in the town centre.

Around 60 people watched as Freya Joyce and Thomas Youe placed the single wreath on the memorial.

A poignant service of Remembrance, organised by Barry Jessop, was held outside the memorial hall in Whitecroft.

Rebecca Aston of Pillowell Band sounded the Last Post and Reveille.

Standard Bearer Mr Ian Howells was in attendance and Richard Shingles read John McCrae’s famous poem In Flanders Fields.

Poppy wreaths were placed in the Garden of Remembrance, by Mrs Jenny Barnett on behalf of Whitecroft War Memorial Hall and Recreation Ground Trust Committee and by Mr Barry Jessop on behalf of the village and football club,

Mrs Jayne O’nions, whose uncle was one of the Whitecroft men killed in the Second World War, also placed a wreath in memory of the men who died in that conflict.

The clerk of West Dean Parish Council, Dave Kent placed a wreath on behalf of the council in remembrance of the Whitecroft men who died in the First World War.

Wooden Poppy crosses were also placed in the Garden of Remembrance, which “was looking splendid with poppies billowing in the wind and rain,” said Mr Jessop

He thanked everyone who had attended and said that he hoped that next year’s service would be back to some sort of normality.

For their fund-raising for this year’s Poppy Appeal, the Freeminer Explorer Scouts unit made ceramic poppies.

The 14- to 18-year-olds placed 36 poppies on war graves across the Forest and 21 were also put on sale at the British Legion stall in Tesco, Lydney where they proved very popular and quickly sold out.

Grace Powell represented the unit in placing a wreath at the Lydney Memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

At Kempley there was a small gathering around the Centenary Stone to remember the nine men of the village who lost their lives in war.

The Women’s Institutes at Aylburton and Tutshill crafted woollen poppies which have been displayed on the cross at Aylburton and on the bus stop in Coleford Road.

There was particular disappointment at the disruption to Remembrance caused by Covid-19 in Mitcheldean.

A new memorial, which has been crafted by sculptor Carrie Horwood at Cat’s Eye Carving at Taurus Crafts in Lydney, was due to have been inaugurated this year.

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