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Issue 287 – Frome pays homage to fallen heroes

Hundreds gathered in Frome on Sunday to remember and honour those soldiers who have been killed or injured in service for their country.

This year’s ceremony saw around 300 people come together to pay their respects at the War Memorial outside the Memorial Theatre.
The town centre came to a standstill, with people lining the streets to observe a procession of dignitaries, past and current servicemen, as well as local groups.
Before the procession, three engraved planters in the Memorial Garden were dedicated and entrusted to the care of the Frome Memorial Theatre trustees, to the memory of all who have fallen in war.
David Newell, chairman of the Frome branch of the Royal British Legion said, “The day’s event went very well indeed and there was a very good turnout.
“I think the events occurring in Afghanistan really focus people’s attention on the point of Remembrance Day and perhaps that is why so many people came along on Sunday.
“The Poppy Appeal is going well this year, people in the town are being as generous as ever. The one thing we do lack is young collectors – we would dearly love more younger collectors to come forward.”
Local MP David Heath told the Frome Times, “It is very noticeable that more and more people feel Remembrance Day is something they want to observe.
“It is no longer simply a matter of looking back to the awful events of the world wars, but present conflicts mean that the sacrifices are made by young men and women, and they make this day something that’s relevant to all of us now. I think it is very important that we do not forget.
“It was particularly poignant this year to be reading the lesson in St John’s knowing that for many years this would always previously have been done by my old friend and colleague Jock Garland – we all miss him.”
Frome’s mayor, councillor Damon Hooton, was in the parade and laid a wreath on the War Memorial. He said, “It was tremendous to see the turnout at each of the remembrance events.
“The strong public turnout shows the high regards people have for servicemen and those who have lost their lives fighting for their country. It was equally pleasing to see so many young people there on the day.”
Jane Norris, who helped to co-ordinate the day said, “This is an important day in the year’s calendar and one that is becoming increasingly poignant for even the younger generations.”
Commenting on the remembrance service, Humphrey Barnes, chair of the Frome Memorial Theatre Trust said, “I was privileged to be asked by the Royal British Legion to read the poem “Flanders Field”, this I duly did and it followed the dedication of the three memorial planters that had recently been donated by James Long (Masons Ltd) of Trowbridge. They have been entrusted to the Trustees of the Memorial Theatre for safe keeping; do have a look at them when you next pass the theatre, they are an appropriate addition to the memorial garden.
“On behalf of the theatre trustees I would like to congratulate and thank the Royal British Legion for the outstanding organisation of the morning once again. This year the hymn “Abide with Me” was added to the service, lead by members of the Frome Operatic Society, I personally felt it added significantly to whole proceedings, and I sincerely hope this and perhaps a little more music maybe added next year.
“Twenty four years ago this wonderful old building was in danger of demolition, but with the enthusiasm of many over the years it is good to see that the theatre is very much alive, offering family entertainment throughout the year, but in particular to see some 500 people at this years service, really justifies the original concept in 1925 as Frome’s Memorial to the fallen, and why in 1985 it would have been a disaster had the building disappeared from Christchurch Street West.”

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