Penistone Remembrance Ceremony

Remembrance Ceremonies in the UK
Poppy Appeal RBLThe first remembrance ceremony was held in November 1919, a year after the Armistice Day of the Great War 1914 - 1918. King George V decreed that on the eleventh hour of the eleventh month there would henceforth be a two-minute silence; a time of reflection in remembrance of the fallen. This has been performed every year since. In the early days, trains and buses would stop and people would stop what they were doing for that moment.

These days, whilst some people still pay regard to the date and time, the ceremony is more generally performed on the nearest Sunday to 11th November, in cities and towns throughout the country. BBC tv also shows the big remembrance parade past London's Cenotaph, a monument to an unknown soldier who represents every soldier who gave his life in the defence of our country. This is how we pay tribute to our armed forces, whom we owe for our freedom and British way of life. Our armed forces have always done a tough but professional job, in those world wars as they do now in modern conflicts. We owe them a lot.

Penistone's Remembrance Day
This event is organised by the Royal British Legion and is always well supported by local people. The parade proceeds from an assembly area near the Bowling Club on Back Lane. With the British Legion standard proudly borne by the leader, it proceeds on to Schole Avenu and Park Avenue, around the block to High Street by the Co-op store. From there it goes towards the Rose & Crown and turns right on to Shrewsbury Road and to the war memorial by Penistone Church, where a large crowd will be waiting. The parade comes to a halt there.

Those in the procession includes old soldiers, current servicemen, army cadets, police and fire services, scouts, brownies, British Legion officials and local dignitaries. Some of these carry their own standards.

A roll-call of wartime fallen is read and, at the stroke of eleven o'clock, two minutes silence is observed in thoughtful remembrance of their sacrifice. "At the going down of the sun .. (etc.) .... we shall remember them". The normal Westminster chimes of Penistone church clock are silenced and just the eleven chimes of the hour are heard. The 'last post' is then played on a bugle. The parade then proceeds into the church and a full remembrance service ensues. After the service, many of the parade heads towards the British Legion around the corner.

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A Scottish piper played a moving lament on bagpipes in 2001 as a departure from the usual ceremony. My thanks to Joe Pinguey, official photographer for the RBL club at the time, for many of these pictures. The bottom row are mine from 2007.

O Valiant Hearts, who to Your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle-flame
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.

Proudly you gathered rank on rank, to war,
As who had heard God's message from afar;
All you had hoped for, all You had, you gave
To save mankind - yourselves you scorned to save.

Splendid you passed, the great surrender made
Into the light that nevermore shall fade;
Deep your contentment in that blest abode,
Who wait the last clear trumpet-call of God.

O risen Lord, O Shepherd of our Dead,
Whose Cross has brought them and whose Staff has led
In glorious hope their proud and sorrowing land
Commits her Children to Thy gracious hand.



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