The church was full of Braughing residents, many along with visitors from far afield. We also had some members of the Shepherd Cross family who came from Gloucestershire to be with us on the day. David Shepherd Cross, whose grandfather Cecil was killed in the war, read the Bible reading during the service. We heard the haunting words of letters from Robert Weir to his sister Lizzie at Ford Street Farm at the end of the war, the second one written by him only 10 minutes after armistice took effect at 11am on 11th November 1914. There were two silhouettes of soldiers sitting in the congregation, each representing one of the Braughing soldiers who were here with us ……… but not here.
The Act of Remembrance involved many people from Braughing, each carrying a red ribbon representing one of the 23 men from Braughing killed in the war. These were placed to rest on the altar for the duration of the service. We then saw descendants of Henry Glazebrook, a Braughing man who went to war and fortunately returned home. They carried a basket full of 106 gold ribbons, each one carrying the name of a Braughing man who went to war and returned home safely. A very moving tribute.
The hymns were all carefully selected to reflect the occasion, finishing with the iconic ‘I Vow to Thee My Country’ and of course ending the service with the National Anthem. After the service ended, members of the congregation were each given one of the red or gold ribbons to take home with them, so that they might get to know more about the life of their soldier and so that we could continue to remember them after today.
Later in the afternoon, a large crowd gathered in The Square to join in the march to the War Memorial. The crowd were led by the Scout Band, playing a variety of music on the way, followed by several standard bearers. There were significantly more poppy wreaths this year, with representatives from village organisations laying wreaths on behalf of their members. A further moving tribute to those Braughing men who lost their lives 100 years ago.
At 6.30pm an even larger crowd gathered in The Square in the darkness of night for Braughing’s contribution to the national response to this special centenary known as The Battle’s Over. More than one thousand communities across the nation took part at the same time in these activities presented in Braughing by Clive Marshall:-
6.50pm – Tribute to the Millions read by Marion Saunders
6.55pm – The Last Post played on the bugle by Margaret Goodall
7.00pm – Lighting of the Beacon by Cllr Peter Boylan, Chairman, Braughing Parish Council
7.05pm – Ringing for Peace by Braughing Church Bell Ringers
This was followed by the unveiling of the Memorial Bench by Cllr Kathryn Riley. The bench was commissioned by Braughing Parish Council in memory of all those men and boys from Braughing who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice during those four years of war.
Finally, I could not end without paying particular tribute to thank personally the members of the 11th November Committee, a sub committee of the Braughing Parish Council. The team prepared the absolute detail for the day along with Rev Julie Gawthrope, Clive Marshall, Peter Glazebrook, Marion Saunders, Kathryn Riley and Sheila White. Each and every member made a unique contribution. This was truly a team effort, resulting in a very memorable day for the people of Braughing.
Didn’t we do those men of Braughing proud!!
Braughing Parish Council