Page 207 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 207

 Remembrance Service at Annfield Plain Park
On Friday the 9th November the Consett and Stanley Branch had a Remembrance Service in Annfield Plain Park for all schools in our area. It was attended by hundreds of children with one school bringing over 100, in all 5 schools brought children. The service was led by Maj A Watson who spoke to the children about why we held Remembrance Services, before the Salvation Army Chaplain took the church service. One of the children had asked her father who was home
on leave to play the bugle last post and reveille with our standard in attendance. The children then lay wreaths and crosses that they had made at their schools. Some of the children were heard remarking how they would never forget what had happened and that they would always remember those who had died for their country. This was followed by tea and coffee in the Bowls Club after the children returned to their schools.
       Consett and Stanley Branch Rememebrance Weekend
We started on the Sunday 4th November with the unveiling of the 2 blue plaques at High Spen School. 1 for Private Young VC DLI. The children of the school enacted the trenches and what the 2 soldiers did to get there VC’s even to dressing up as King George and presenting copies of the medals to 2 children dressed as soldiers.
Our Remembrance weekend started on Sunday morning. First at St Pats Church early morning service with the standard and then the branch laid wreaths at Consett, Stanley, St Andrews and the rest of the branch at South Moor. Next we took part in a service at Annfield Plain Methodist Church at 2.00pm followed by a service in the park, Next we attended the Beacon of Light Ceremony. The Lord Lieutenant presented a certificate of thanks to our standard bearer for all he had done in this centenary year. We had visited every church and chapel and attended dedication services of silent soldiers and
Lighting the Catchgate Beacon
The Consett and Stanley Branch DLI Association had made arrangements through their AAP to be part of the National Lighting of the Beacon Ceremony in the village of Catchgate to mark the ending of the Great War. Paulene Gill, their Secretary had made arrange- ments through the Lieutenancy Office for the event to be attended by the Lord Lieutenant Mrs Sue Snowdon. Members of the DLI Association Branch paraded in darkness with their Branch Standard along with the local Army Cadet detachment with their standard beside the beacon to meet her. The Lord Lieutenant was met by Mr John Milburn and the Branch Secretary Mrs Paulene Gill, who intro- duced her to the Parade Commander Lt Col John Heron TD. He requested her to inspect the Branch, while the cadets were inspected by the Mayor of Durham and Chairman of Durham County Council, Councillor John Lethbridge and the Chairman of the
“seen but not seen” soldiers. We were very fortunate to have the Lord Lieutenant and her husband, Chairman of Durham County Council J Lethbridge and his wife. Mayor of Stanley A Clegg, Chief Constable M Barton, DLI Association Secretary Col J Heron, RBL Chairman of Northumbria G,Mackay, Chairman of Consett RBL. Many veterans from our branch and 30 Army Cadets, 2 County Councillors and 4 Town Councillors, representatives of all our Churches, Poppy Appeal Organisers and represent- atives from Tesco, Asda and One Shop. A wonderful evening was had by all followed by a buffet in The Crown and Thistle provided by the WI, the Churches and the DLI. A cake in the shape of a poppy was cut by the Lord Lieutenant. The Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Lethbridge and Mrs Barton were all presented with baskets of red flowers. On the Monday morning we returned to High Spen School to attend a Remem- brance Service with the children.
         Other Remembrance Parades
Other major parades took place at the towns where DLI, LI & Rifles have been awarded their Freedom. As well as the City of Durham these were Darlington, Hartlepool, Sunderland, Spennymoor, and Stockton-on-Tees. There were parades in most other towns and villages in the county, where wreaths were laid on behalf of the DLI, Light Infantry and The Rifles as well as other regiments and corps. In all of these DLI Association members ‘marched past’ to pay compliments to their Mayor and local VIPs.
 Northumbria Royal British Legion. After the speaking of the Exhortation the cadet bugler played the Last Post, followed suitably by Reveille and the Kohima Epitaph. The Lord Lieutenant made a short speech and lit the beacon, when the Church Bells were rung and the congregation rang their own hand bells. She then presented a token to Cadet Bugler Thornley and a certificate to Mr Gerry Nichol Standard Bearer, and to Lt Col Heron, who received it on behalf of Consett & Stanley Branch. The Parade Commander called for “three cheers for Her Majesty the Queen”, after which the parade was dismissed and invited guests gathered in the Crown and Thistle for a buffet supper prepared by volunteers of the Partnership and Paulene Gill.
 Certificates were presented by the Lord Lieutenant

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