Filed under: war

New Commemorative Benches at Abingdon Guildhall + announcement of Annual Parish Meeting

The front view of the Guildhall no longer has the silhouettes of servicemen from WWI. Instead there are two commemorative benches.
One bench shows scenes from WWII with the years 1939 – 1945 and a dove of peace.
The other bench shows scenes from WWI with the reminder Lest we forget and the years 1918 – 2018.

The annual parish meeting will be on Tuesday 12th March at 7 pm in the Roysse Room in the Guildhall. This is when the Town Council reports back on their work and achievements during the last year.

The annual parish meeting is also the opportunity for anybody living in Abingdon to ask questions of the Town Council. For more detail see the agenda at Annual Parish Meeting.

6 Comments March 4, 2019

Flooding five years ago and Thames at War

Flooding five years ago
Spike sent me this picture of Abingdon – five years ago, showing the River Thames having burst its banks. Thankyou to him.

There is a bigger version (here …)

Last time the River Thames broke its banks was in April 2018. The Thames at War event at the Lock was postponed as a consequence. I read in the Oxford Mail that the event will be held instead on April 14th, 2019.
Flooding five years ago
The WWII Pillbox is between Marcham and Abingdon.

2 Comments January 12, 2019

Beacon and Bells round off Armistice Day Centenary in Abingdon

Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
A beacon on top of the County Hall in Abingdon
Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
,watched by a small crowd on Abingdon Market Place,

and bells, at the same time, from St Helen’s Church, rounded off this Armistice Day centenary in Abingdon.

The beacon was intended to show the light that came after the darkness of war. More than 800 beacons were lit by councils and communities across the UK.

1 Comment November 11, 2018

Abingon-on-Thames Act of Rembrance – 11th November 2018

Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
Many Abingdon people gathered round the war memorial in the sunshine, and along High Street to await the remembrance day parade. Abingdon Town Band led the parade from a service at St Helen’s Church to the war memorial. The parade included soldiers from Dalton Barracks.
Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
Uniformed groups, and civic organisations brought wreaths of poppies to lay at the war memorial.

Then at 11 am, one hundred years after the guns of WW1 became silent, Steve Rich read the exhortation “They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old… we will remember them“. Alison Rich of Abingdon Town Band then played the last post (recording above). There followed a two minutes silence (to remember the fallen).
Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
After Alison Rich sounded the Reveille, the band played and the crowd sang “Oh God our Help in Ages Past” as wreaths were put beside the memorial.

After the end of the ceremony, and after God save the Queen had been sung, civic dignitaries then went ahead to the County Hall to await the march by.
Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
The Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, representing the Queen, (Mrs Felicity Dick), the Mayor of Abingdon-on-Thames (Councillor Margaret Crick), the town’s poppy appeal organiser (Clare Oldfield), and a senior officer from Dalton Barracks took the salute. To their left is 100 year old Ena Mitchell, from the war widows association.
Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
The march was led by Abingdon Town Band and soldiers from Dalton Barracks,
Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
It included veterans,
Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
and uniformed groups and went on and on and on. It is a wonder they all fitted round the war memorial.
Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
Back at the war memorial people looked at the wreaths,
Abingon Act of Rembrance 2018
and left their own tributes.

The event was very well organised, and people along the High Street could hear what was going on through loud speakers.

Leave a Comment November 11, 2018

Abingdon Roll of Service read from pulpit and lectern at St Helen’s Church

November 1918
For the second time during the centenary of the commemoration of World War I, the Abingdon (Borough) Roll of Service has been read at St Helen’s Church. The first time was in 2014 ,one hundred years after the start of the war, and this second time is today, November 10th 1918, at the end of the bloody war.

Lots of people were invited to read. Some with family connections, some not.

They read Surname, Christian names, and address. The reading took on a particular rhythm with the emphasis on the surname, many of which were repeated lots of times. The reading was sometimes broken up with poems.

The names of the men who died on service are printed in heavier type in the Roll and they were read from the pulpit, while those who endured injury, or the hardship and horror of the war, were read from the lectern.
November 1918
The Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire (the Queen’s representative) read the the end of the G’s.
November 1918
Then Ewart Hemmings, a former Mayor of Abingdon, read H’s into the Hemmings, including his father.
November 1918
There were a lot of Hemmings, and at least four were read from the pulpit together with the place of death.
November 1918
Another name to be read from the pulpit was King, Percival Arthur, 22 Ock Street. There were also a lot of Kings. Percival was killed in action at Mons while serving with the Royal Berkshire Regiment as part of the British Expeditionary Force. He was Abingdon’s first fatality of WW1 and King street on the new Morland Garden development is named after him. Thanks to Steve for sending me that.

Leave a Comment November 10, 2018

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