Battle’s Over – West Bergholt’s Tribute to the Millions
Over 150 people from the village gathered on the evening of 11th November to play their part in a nationwide “Battle’s Over” commemoration. This nationwide event was marking the ending of the 1st World War 100 years ago.
The commemoration saw a common theme being played out in urban and rural areas, towns, villages and cities. Collectively a 1000 buglers were sounding the Last Post, over 1000 beacons of light being ignited; a similar number of Cathedral and Church bells also rung out.
Villagers gathered at St Mary’s New Church as part of a candlelit procession led by children from Heathland’s School. The parade walked from the Church to the Orpen Hall car park joining with many more for the commemoration. The commemoration followed the following order of activities:
- Reading by the Chairman of the Parish Council, Chris Stevenson, of the Tribute to the Millions.
- Chris then recited the names of the 42 from the village who lost their lives in the Great War, who are commemorated on memorials in the two churches. Candles in the form of tea-lights arranged in jam jars marked the 24 names.
- Playing of the Last Post by Ozzy Baker, a year 8 student and member of the WB Concert Band.
- Lighting of the Beacon overseen and guided by Cllr David Short and lit by two children from Heathlands School, Daisy and Mia.
- The tolling of the bell at St Mary’s (New) Church.
- The recital of the names of the fallen repeated, and a bell sounded for each one, by children from Heathland School at St Mary’s (New) Church.
Video of Event
The following video compliation courtesy of Peter Noakes:
Refreshments were on hand outside of the John Lampon Hall consisting of a fine array of cakes and biscuits specially baked for the occasion. The refreshments raised £115.35 in donations for the Poppy Appeal.
The Local History Group, Heathland’s School, Knit One Down One, 1st West Bergholt Scouts, Bluebells Pre-school and 3rd West Bergholt Brownies all displayed their work reflecting the occasion.
The commemoration ended shortly after 7pm. Chris Stevenson, Chair of the Parish Council, commented afterwards:
This was a wonderful and moving commemoration, and I would like to record my appreciation of all who helped to set up the event. Particular thanks go to the organisers of the displays; Ozzy, Daisy and Mia; Diana Woodgate, Jo Jeffery and all the participants from Heathlands School, Peter Noakes for filming the event and John Worland for setting up and allowing use of his PA equipment. Finally, thanks to everyone who provided or served the refreshments and to the Parish Council particularly Laura Walkingshaw, Vicky Beckwith-Cole, Brian Butcher, Phil Spencer and David Short for co-ordinating events so well.