Royal Air Force Air Cadets from 121 (Nuneaton) and 198 (Hinckley) Squadrons attended a Drumhead service at the on Ashby Road Cemetery in Hinckley on Sunday 3rd August to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Wreaths of red poppies crowned memorials of Hinckley’s First World War dead as the haunting strains of Flowers of the Forest hung over the graves in a service held to commemorate the centenary of the start of the conflict.
Organised by the Hinckley branch of the Royal British Legion and Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, the service was introduced by Ron Collyer of the RBL and led by the Rev Jonathan Surridge, curate at St Mary’s church in Hinckley, who is the branch chaplain.
Representatives of Hinckley Methodist, Salvation Army, United Reformed, Hope Community and St Peter’s RC churches offered prayers for peace and reconciliation at the grave of Lance-Corporal Arthur Harris, a lone burial in the “pauper’s ground” within the Ashby Road cemetery.
Wreaths were laid at his grave by deputy Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire David Wyrko and the mayor of Hinckley and Bosworth Councillor Jeff Bannister.
The service culminated with members of 121 (Nuneaton) and 198 (Hinckley) Squadrons together with Sea and Army cadets laying wreaths on every one of the 27 war graves in the cemetery and on 40 more family headstones commemorating a casualty of the conflict, as bagpipes played through the silence.
Mr Collyer said: “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity as this type of service, which is common on the continent, has never been held before in Hinckley. The presence of so many people shows that this war now out of living memory still holds a fatal attraction and fascination to those who had loved ones who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
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