Huntingdon & District Branch: Remembrance Parade, Sunday 10th November 2013

On Sunday 10th November 2013, shipmates from Huntingdon & District Branch gathered for the annual Remembrance Day Parade in Huntingdon Town Centre. In attendance were S/Ms Bill Small, Karl Webb, Pete Aston, Nino Crean, Doris and Grove Dove, and Geoff Twigden (who’s son Gavin also joined us for the parade).

Shipmates Karl Webb, Pete Aston, Nino Crean and Bill Small
Shipmates Karl Webb, Pete Aston, Nino Crean and Bill Small

As with the past few parades, it was another bright, sunny day, although the cold was starting to creep in.

Shipmates Grove Dove and Geoff Twigden
Shipmates Grove Dove and Geoff Twigden

The veterans’ squad was made up with members of the RNA, RBL, RAFA, and of course a serving member of the Royal Navy (Gavin Twigden). We took our usual positions by Huntingdon’s War Memorial, ready to carry out our duty to those who are no longer with us, by remembering them.

Shortly before the 11th hour, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Col Derek Bristow OBE DL, the Chair of Huntingdonshire District Council, Cllr Barbara Boddington, the Mayor of Huntingdon, Cllr Bill Hensley, representatives from Huntingdon Council, and the Commanding Joint Forces Intelligence Group (RAF Wyton), Brigadier Nick Davies, entered the town square and took their places in front of the Memorial.

The Veterans' Association Standards are dipped. Photo: Alex Cave
The Veterans’ Association Standards are dipped. Photo: Alex Cave

Huntingdon’s Chaplain, Reverend Andrew Milton, welcomed all participants and residents gathered around the memorial, he then gave the ‘Act of Remembrance’ at the 11th hour. The two minute silence followed. A Veteran from the Royal British Legion recited the inscription as inscribed on the War Memorial in Kohima, Inda:

When you go home
tell them of us and say –
For your tomorrow
we gave our today

After these words, the bugler sounded ‘Reveille’; it was then time for the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire to lay the first wreath. Once the VIP’s had laid their wreaths, Shipmate Geoff Twigden placed a wreath on behalf of the Huntingdon & District Branch, which was then followed by representatives of each organisation in attendance laying theirs.

The Reverend Andrew Milton continued with the service; a hymn and prayers were followed by the Blessing, before the last act, the singing of the National Anthem.

With the service complete, the parade was called to attention; the band took their post at the front of the Town Hall, each association was then directed into position before the parade left Market Square for the March Past (taken by the Chair of HDC, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, and the Commander Joint Forces Intelligence Group).

Huntingdon War Memorial after the Sunday Service
Huntingdon War Memorial after the Sunday Service

After everyone had fallen out, shipmates made their way to the Market Inn for light refreshments before departing for home.

A Garden for Remembrance
A Garden for Remembrance
...We Will Remember Them
…We Will Remember Them

The final duty for the day was to take part in the evening service of Remembrance at Godmanchester. Shipmates met at the White Hart pub before heading down to The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin. Our Chairman, S/M Bill Small carried the Branch Standard and S/Ms Pete Aston and Nino Crean acted as escorts to the Standard.